Akha Khumalo – Wishing every autistic person could have one wonderful friend

S2C, Spelling to Communicate, nonspeaking, nonspeakers, Autism, I-ASC, Speller, nonverbal, RPM

I recently had the unique opportunity to interview one of I-ASC’s younger Spelltember Spellebrities, Akha Khumalo. Nominated as an Ambassador for his advocacy, Akha was the first speller in South Africa to start a blog. In My Own Words. 

Readers will quickly find that Akha doesn’t shy away from baring his soul as he describes how his “heart breaks” for every nonspeaker still seeking liberation. But it’s through his pain that Akha finds his strength and passion saying, “I will not rest until it’s done.” 

Join me in learning a little bit more about this young future South African leader!

~ Debbie

S2C, Spelling to Communicate, nonspeaking, nonspeakers, Autism, I-ASC, Speller, nonverbal, RPM

The person who nominated you described you as an “advocate for other nonspeaking autistics” and that you were the first nonspeaker in South Africa to start a blog. What does that mean to you?

TRACY HAS ALWAYS BELIEVED IN ME. SHE HAS NEVER WAVERED IN HER DETERMINATION TO ALLOW ME TO BE ME. 

Who inspires you? And how would you want to inspire others?

I AM INSPIRED BY OTHER NONSPEAKERS I WILL NEVER STOP BEING AN ADVOCATE UNTIL EVERY NONSPEAKER HAS A VOICE. 

What is bringing you joy these days? Tell us about it.

I FIND JOY IN BEING WITH MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS RELATIONSHIPS ARE EVERYTHING TO ME. 

S2C, Spelling to Communicate, nonspeaking, nonspeakers, Autism, I-ASC, Speller, nonverbal, RPM

It is a huge honor to interview you. If you could interview someone, anyone you look up to, who would it be and why?

I WOULD LIKE TO INTERVIEW NELSON MANDELA (AND CAN YOU TELL ME A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT THAT) HE CHANGED THE LIVES OF PEOPLE OF COLOR IN SOUTH AFRICA I WOULD LIKE TO GET TIPS FROM HIM SO I CAN CHANGE THE LIFE LIVES OF AUTISTICS IN SOUTH AFRICA. 

Imagine a map of the world. Where does your mind’s eye land and why?

MY MIND’S EYE FALLS SQUARELY ON AFRICA I LOVE HER SO MUCH AND ALL HER PEOPLE TOO SHE IS MY HEARTBEAT. 

If you could choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what song would you choose and why? 

SHOSHOLOZA. IT IS ABOUT WORKERS WORKING ON THE MINES IN AFRICA IT’S A SONG OF PERSERVERSENCE AND HARD WORK ITS WHAT I DO EACH DAY. 

If your life was a book, what would the title be?

MY BOOK WOULD BE CALLED THE BOY BEHIND THE MASK

Do you have any questions for I-ASC or is there something you would like to see I-ASC promote or organize?

I AM SO GRATEFUL TO I-ASC FOR THE WORK YOU DO FOR NONSPEAKERS I AM SO THANKFUL THAT YOU TRAINED TRACY I WOULD BE SO LOST WITHOUT HER. PLEASE KEEP REACHING MORE NONSPEAKERS WE ALL DERSERVE A VOICE. 

S2C, Spelling to Communicate, nonspeaking, nonspeakers, Autism, I-ASC, Speller, nonverbal, RPMAn advocate for nonspeakers that have not yet found their voices. He was the first South African speller to start an advocate blog for communication. He values friends, education, and being able to express himself and wants the same for other nonspeaking kids.

 

 

 

S2C, Spelling to Communicate, nonspeaking, nonspeakers, Autism, I-ASC, Speller, nonverbal, RPM

If you missed Akha’s Presentation at SpellX! “Words worth a listen!” Make sure to check back for his presentation!!

 

 

 

The mission of I-ASC is to advance communication access for nonspeaking individuals globally through trainingeducationadvocacy and research I-ASC supports all forms of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) with a focus on methods of spelling and typing. I-ASC currently offers Practitioner training in Spelling to Communicate (S2C)with the hope that other methods of AAC using spelling or typing will join our association

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