Beth Moulam PLY

AAC advocate, retired Paralympian, post-graduate research student

Community Advocate

I’ve used augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) since I was 4. At 10 I wrote my life story to tell people how it felt to be an AAC user, and hearing impaired, in mainstream school. I went on to present this at the 2006 International Society of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) conference; the result was I fell in love with public speaking.

In 2012 following a European Network for Independent Living young leadership project and presenting at the European Parliament in Strasbourg I realised to be taken seriously as an advocate I needed to understand policy, not just share my lived experiences. This led to a social policy degree and now studying for a Masters by Research.

I represented GB at the Tokyo Paralympics in boccia, I’m lucky my Paralympic journey provided a platform to focus on AAC awareness raising and communication rights. A communication disability impacts every aspect of life from inclusion, living independently, education, employment, to sport and more.

I’m Patron of 1 Voice, an amazing charity supporting young AAC users and their families. I’ve been a member since I was 7 years old, graduating from their role model programme at 16.
In September 2022 I was elected a Trustee of Communication Matters; the UK branch of ISAAC representing AAC users and professionals. They played a huge part in my development and joining the Board is a fantastic way to support empowering other AAC users to fulfil their own potential.

I’m a committee member of the International Communication Rights Alliance (ICRA). In August 2022 and March 2023, I addressed the UNCRPD committee on communication rights, sharing ICRA’s recommendations on how to operationalise the CRPD AAC commitments to support freedom of expression and opinion. Our work promotes the significance of trained communication partners, the need for ongoing support throughout life, and the importance of standardised AAC reporting based on the premise that what gets measured gets done.

This year I’ve also contributed to 2 APPGs and worked with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy to co-author a review of their professional AAC guidance (publication late 2023).

Communication is a basic human right, we must never take for granted the right to be heard, I’m privileged to have a voice on the Disability Power 100 list.

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Disability Power 100 2023 profile information has been self-submitted by the profile subject. Shaw Trust understands and respects that disability and impairment descriptors and language use varies from person to person. Shaw Trust assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or discrepancies in the content of this, or any other, profile page.

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