During spring 2008, Stubblefield showed her class the film. In the audience was D.J.’s brother, according to the lawsuit the family filed in federal court last year.Here's Stubblefield's 2011 paper on facilitated communication, in which she argues:
Soon after, at the brother’s urging, Stubblefield began meeting with D.J. in her office and at his adult day care center, the lawsuit says.
In October 2010, Stubblefield arranged to have D.J. present his research at an autism conference in Wisconsin, the lawsuit says. D.J.’s mother joined them on the trip, the lawsuit says.
But several months later, in May 2011, the relationship soured when Stubblefield met with D.J.’s mother and brother and, according to the civil lawsuit, admitted that she had sexual relations with D.J.
In August 2011, D.J.’s family brought their allegations to university police officers, who contacted Essex County prosecutors. Stubblefield was indicted on aggravated sexual assault charges in January 2013.
Both sides are expected to appear in court Thursday for a hearing before state Superior Court Judge Siobhan Teare. The judge is expected to decide whether more tests need to be done to determine the extent of D.J.’s ability to communicate and comprehend.
Just like any other form of augmentative communication, FC does not necessarily work for everyone who cannot speak usefully and who has trouble regulating his body movements. And some FC users may require support in addressing various learning challenges in addition to the communication support provided by FC. A premise of this paper, however, is that because FC has been validated as an effective means of communication for some people (see below), it is an important tool for inclusion in the repertoire of speech-language therapists, augmentative communication specialists, and educators, so that people for whom other means of communication have been unsuccessful or are too limited can have the opportunity to try it. A further premise is that support providers do more harm to people who cannot speak and have trouble regulating their body movements by presuming that they are profoundly intellectually impaired and will never be able to communicate effectively than they do by presuming that the people they support are more intellectually competent than their lack of useful speech and difficulty pointing suggests (Donnellan 1984).
Furthermore, FC has been criticized because there are instances in which FC users' words have been misinterpreted or poorly trained or inexperienced facilitators have influenced what is typed. But misinterpretation is possible with all forms of communication, including spoken communication, and poor facilitation is remediable through careful training and supervision. A final premise of this paper is that FC should be judged by the same standards as any other method of communication, not dismissed because sometimes it fails to meet a higher standard.
People who are labeled as intellectually impaired experience crushing oppression within our society, rationalized by the "science" of medical, psychological, and educational orthodoxies. Exercising their freedom of expression via FC is the only way that some people experiencing this oppression can contribute to debate about the concept of intellect and about public policy that impacts people labeled as intellectually impaired (the film Wretches and Jabberers is just one recent example of FC users contributing to these debates). As I detail in the next section, much of anti-FC rhetoric systematically undermines the meaningfulness of speech produced via FC and the consideration given to the ideas produced by FC users by presuming, without substantiation, that FC users are incapable of rational expression. Thus, it functions as hate speech that contributes to the ongoing oppression of FC users and of all people labeled as intellectually impaired............
West argues that protection of freedom of expression requires the "minimum consideration requirement": speakers should refrain from engaging in speech acts that systematically prevent the speech of another from being attended to or considered. Too much of anti-FC rhetoric violates this requirement—by calling into question the intellectual competence of FC users, cutting them out of discussions of the meaning and validity of FC, suggesting that others are more competent than them to speak for them, and attacking FC allies and their freedom of expression. In so doing, anti-FC rhetoric functions not as principled scientific debate intended to help humanity in its quest for truth, but rather as hate speech intended to silence dissenters, with the result (whether intended or not) of contributing to the ongoing marginalization and oppression within our society of people labeled as intellectually impaired.