Facilitated communication, neurodiversity, and human rights

William Paul Simmons, Janyce Boynton, Todd Landman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Facilitated Communication (FC) has rightly been labeled a pseudoscience as there are no controlled studies showing its validity as a form of communication for people with severe autism or other disabilities. In controlled studies, it has been the facilitator and not the person with disabilities that is generating the communication. Spurious communications have led to numerous cases of sexual assault and false accusations of misconduct. Nev-ertheless, FC remains widely practiced and touted even by supposed experts. We argue that this controversy has important human rights implications, especially for activists attempting to amplify marginalized people’s voices by speaking for them, and raises critical questions about epistemological issues in human rights work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-167
Number of pages30
JournalHuman Rights Quarterly
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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