Penny Clough had viral meningitis at the age of eighteen and when she emerged from coma spent eleven years in a brain trauma hospital. During this time she was regarded as being in Persistent Vegetative State (PVS). Eventually she came to the Centre and we found a way for her to communicate. Slowly Penny's control over her speech and movement returned. She is now talking, writing and typing, and is independently mobile in a wheelchair.
Kim Johnson has Rett Syndrome, and uses a headpointer to type. She has received her Victorian Certificate of Education - the certificate you get on successfully completing secondary school - and is now undertaking tertiary studies.
Michael Regos has Down syndrome and is legally blind. When he was 12 the Centre helped him to find a means of communication. Michael has completed several tertiary diplomas and in 2009 he received a Student Achievement Award from Swinburne University.
John Warburton came to the Centre in 1986 from s Special School for people with IQs under 50. After being given a means to communicate he graduated from Deakin University and wrote poetry. Sadly, John died unexpectedly in 2020.
Tim Chan has written Back From The Brink, a no-holds-barred autobiography from a young man with communication problems who's had every challenge that you can think of, and then some. You can get copies here.
Like all children, kids without speech are fascinated by dinosaurs, and we’ve been asking our people to write us stories about them. Their pieces – painstakingly pointed out on an iPad, a letter at a time – tell us a lot about their imagination and their creativity (and their competitiveness). Here are some of them.