DEAL Clients tell their stories
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 DEAL 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.
Anne McDonald had cerebral palsy and could not walk, talk or use her hands. At the age of three she was placed in an institution for people diagnosed as severely retarded, and spent fourteen years there until a way was found for her to communicate and she won her release. She went on to get a university degree and to fight for the rights of people with severe communication impairment. In 2008 Anne received the Australian National Disability Award for Personal Achievement. She died suddenly on October 22nd, 2010.
Michael Regos has Down syndrome and is legally blind. When he was 12 DEAL 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.