Anne: The Advocacy Legacy of an AAC Pioneer - Escape


Anne’s Escape


When she was 16 a teacher – Rosemary Crossley -  gave Anne her first communication board and taught her to spell.   Because of her physical disabilities, she needed support to lift her arm - a technique later called facilitated communication, or FC.
With her new communication Anne was able to demonstrate her intelligence. Unfortunately, the hospital and the Health Commission refused to recognise her abilities, and in 1979 she was obliged to take a habeas corpus action in the Supreme Court to win her freedom from the hospital.
Before the court case Anne undertook a number of assessments. In 1978 the Health Commission asked two senior independent psychologists to test her. They showed her a written passage in the absence of her teacher and gave her written comprehension questions about the passage
The psychologists reported that "she did indeed answer the questions, and in each case, had read the material and questions". While the Health Commission attempted to conceal their favourable report from the Court, it was discovered and Anne won her case.



Anne  escape headlines

Anne’s victory showed that it was possible to use the justice system to achieve basic human rights “without uttering a word”.

Before leaving St. Nicholas she spelt out to the waiting reporters ‘Free the still imprisoned’, and over the next five years she worked unceasingly until the hospital was closed and all its residents resettled in the community. 

Go To Anne's Example

Anne McDonald Centre. 538 Dandenong Road, Caulfield 3162 Victoria, Australia Ph: 03 9509 6324, Fax: 03 9509 6321
© All Rights Reserved Download BrowseAloud Designed and hosted by Infoxchange Australia