At the very heart of our work, our ethos, is the desire to facilitate those we support to recover their voice. Their right to be heard and understood.
Being heard is so close to being loved that, for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable. –David Augsberger
We take our voice, our opinion, our choices, for granted. We eloquently express our needs and our viewpoints and know that we are listened to, that the other person ‘gets us.’ The notion that we could be spoken for and on behalf of, that our voice translates not into our wishes but into something that the listener interprets for us, is reprehensible to you and I.
Historically, there have been many thousands in the UK, millions worldwide, for whom a voice–on thoughts, feelings, needs and interests–has not been afforded them. Today, great strides have been taken in paving a pathway to communication for all. The last decade has seen labels applied less, more creative methods developed to facilitate voice. We have policies that empower and directives that serve to help all to be heard. Technological advances bring us gadgets and widgets and programmes and choice.
And so, we embrace the changes that have transpired in the past and those that are yet to come. The knowledge that we all are heard and understood is really the most fundamental and basic right. Voices may not sound the same. We may not express ourselves in the same way that our peers do, or our carer, our parent or friend but if we are heard then we know we matter.
— Jane Montrose, Managing Director