What is Your AAC Story? Featuring Lateef McLeod


Every year during the month of October, ISAAC engages people around the world to shine a light on the stories of people who use AAC. The 2018 theme of AAC Awareness Month is “Dare to Lead” and, in that spirit, Lateef McLeod, ISAAC Vice-President for LEAD,  offers his perspective on “What leadership means to me.”

“I define myself as a writer and an intellectual. I dedicate most of my literary and academic work to advocate for the livelihood for people with significant disabilities. There is still not enough public awareness on disability issues and leaders need to rise up from among the disability community to give positive examples of people with disabilities. I strive to be one of these leaders by pursuing my PhD in Anthropology at California Institute of Integral Studies and also with my creative work in poetry and fiction. In my writing, I attempt to depict how well-rounded people with disabilities are. In my own life, I exhibit this well-roundedness participating in sports like power soccer, biking, and skiing and community organizations like my church and my fraternity. I also specifically illustrate my leadership role in the AAC community in my position as Chair of the ISAAC’s LEAD Committee.  This is a model of leadership that other people who use AAC are welcome to follow.”

Lateef moderated the Dare to Lead workshop at ISAAC Conference 2018, creating a safe space for people who use AAC to share their stories and aspirations, and providing an opportunity for those with leadership experience to mentor those at the beginning of their journeys. Lateef has also written a book of poetry called “A Declaration of a Body of Love” (2010), and his work was included in a recent New York Times article, “Poetry is a way of being in the world that wasn’t made for us.” For more about Lateef, please visit his website.

To our blog readers: What is your AAC Story? We’d love to hear from you about the ways we all continue to come together as a community, not just this month, but all through the year.


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