Amanda’s Language- Inside Story

Every so often among the 400+ feeds that I follow, I come across something that stops me in my tracks.

“In My Language” by Amanda is directed by a non-speaking autistic person who is able to communicate directly in our language via the web by using a voice synthesiser, video and blog and in Second Life (- which might be one of best uses of that mode. )

As Andy Carvin notes

“Her blog is a lens into the world of autism that most of us have never experienced. And she takes it to the next level by posting videos about her life on YouTube. Because she’s unable to speak, she communicates through a voice synthesizer, typing the words and letting the computer talk for her”

The idea that autism has its own language is new to me. This piece gives us a glimpse into a world that we may have ideas about but we don’t ever get to hear the language being translated / decoded directly by the actual person (Amanda) in the situation.

Amada’s broadcast gives us a unique perspective and entirely new framework for thinking about language and communication as well as changing our ideas about autism.

I’m not sure that this post is relevant for business – except that it reinforces the need to respect each other and listen well – so perhaps that’s more of a universal truth.he advent of blogs and web 2.0 tools is enabling us to hear very different voices for the first time.

Andy Carvin again

I’d like to introduce you to Amanda Baggs. She’s a prolific blogger, an avid user of the virtual reality world Second Life, and a popular video blogger on YouTube. She also happens to be severely autistic, and she’ll change the way you think about the role of Web 2.0 in people’s lives”.

Amanda herself describes the video as below

“The first part is in my “native language,” and then the second part provides a translation, or at least an explanation. This is not a look-at-the-autie gawking freakshow as much as it is a statement about what gets considered thought, intelligence, personhood, language, and communication, and what does not.”

The video YouTube Link (In My Language)

Note: Found a media plugin that works well at Anarchy Media Player but have deleted the embed because it slows down the pageload too much. Click on the YouTube Link above for Amanda’s “In My Language” – it is worth some thinking time.