Saoirse posts Autistic Speaking Day:AAC, Paganism, faith and communication access
Trigger warning/caution notice, this post discusses religion, ancestors, food, pagan and holidays
It is just after Halloween, and for many people this is a one day holiday, for me those who don't know I am pagan and for me Halloween more of a day I mark in or as part of my Samhain, which is a larger Holiday period? festival? I'm not sure the right word for it, Samhain (pronounce sow-in) is one the the 4 fire festivals in Irish paganism, I am not going to give a long i depth lesson on Samhain or a history lesson, I highly recommend learning about it from actual Irish people, aka people from and living in Ireland who are part of the living culture there. I would also recommend looking at things like blog posts and videos by native sources, I would recommend checking out writings and videos by Lora O'brien as a starting off point or as well as out dúchas.ie, and for Irish paganism specifically there is the Irish Pagan Scool. These are all good native sources I recomend for starting your own research into Samhain and Irish paganism.links provided below.
there is a lot when we are celebrating Samhain. From larger family discussions Ancestor work, deity work, studying, Divination,meditations, cleaning, meal prep and cooking, silent suppers, turnip carving, planing out company, putting out offerings and so on,
Before during and around Samhain there is a lot of discussion around what things we want to keep or get rid of,what is working and what isn't, both for things like do we really need all these papers, to do we need a better system of organizing, how can we organize better, to even more complicated family and relationship talks, discussing what things we want to keep and build on for the next year, anything we want to add for the coming year, this could be as simple as “do we want to get a new stuffed animals too do we want to consider expanding the family in some say ie, pets, babies, partners, found family etc. also a lot of discussing lighter things like decoration, a lot of discussion around foods and cooking, setting up altars, Divination (such as tarot cards pendulum,a few Divination “games,” I don't know names for), costumes a well as things like games.carving turnips, plans for guests and so on. And this is all for just one of the major holidays!
These are all things I need to be able to plan and discuss with people who are around me or who will be doing any of these things with Me. However the words I need for this aren't in any of my AAC system base vocabulary sets. This means I have been also working on building up and editing my AAC boards to be able to talk about, discuss, participate and fully communicate during these holidays as well as to discuss my own faith and practices.
This is because the majority of AAC systems are Christian heavy, what I mean by this is whenever you get an AAC app or device, once you are all set up and you load you starting vocabulary, if you have a folder or a place for words in and around religeon they are almost certainly going to be nearly if not all Christian based, if you are lucky you might have the word “Judaism and “Islam” and /maybe/ 1 or 2 other religeon and possibly 1 or 2 items from said religeon, but it will be filled tpwuth things for Christians, when it comes holidays will be find almost all if not all the Christian and likely regional holidays, but you are unlikely to find words for any other religeon holidays,
While I am very happy Christians have a solid base set for discussing their faith, holidays, deities and religion, more AAC systems need to to be inclusive of other faiths and religeons, I. Don't expect most to include things like paganism, as that is such a broad, paganism is just extremely broad with so so many paths, many pagans aren't on the same path I am, though having a few basic words might be nice, but I guess hard to agree on, however the holidays and more words for at least the top 6-8 religions seems like a basic low bar for AAC and communication access, it requires actually including people from those communities at the table when designing vocabulary sets, making sure they are included but again that seems pretty important and should be set as the baseline.
It's really important for people to have words to discuss their faith and for many it's and intrical part of their own culture and daily life, and they need access to these words, additionally they will want to talk to friends who may not be in the faith about things they are doing, maybe invite people to their event or so on. It's important for others not in those communities to have word to interact with family and friends of different faiths. To see and have words for discussing with thier Jewish, Skih, Hindu, Muslim, buhdist,Christian etc friends family. And again everyone should get to have words for their holidays and for their faith and their culture in their communication system, it shouldn't have to be hours to months of extra work just to add even the basics, not to mention having to put in all the work to come up with images for anyone using a symbols Set.!
This for me when it comes to paganism this has meant I have had to do a lot of editing and rearranging and figuring out where to put words, and how to organize not just holiday, but also tools and aspect of my own faith beliefs and practices, and I need to make these fit within the lay out of my system, I also need to keep the common mainstream and Christian holidays, after all, the majority of people celebrate them, even I celebrate most of them, things like Christmas and Easter with my non pagan family, and we also do Christmas in addition to solstice here because why not? as I have said, I have family who celebrate it, and also need to keep most of the national and regional holidays too. (Though some have been removed or changed,) I will still need and want to discuss common mainstream ones with our Christian family members, but I also want to be able to discuss things within our Pagan multi religious household.
When it comes to editing my AAC for my own faith and holidays There is far more than just Samhain I need to add ford's for, after all there are other festivals and daily workings too, each one needs careful thought and consideration, and as I learn more or as my practice grows and as things in my life change will need to continues to edit and adjust my words and vocabulary. it's a lot of work, I am nowhere near finished. I will likely never truly be fully finished however, It is important work, so it is work that I must do, one day, maybe I will pass on these vocab sets to others who want and need it.
Irish Pagan school: https://irishpaganschool.com/courses/
Lora O'Brien log https://loraobrien.ie
Lora O'Brien youtubehttps://youtube.com/c/LoraOBrienIRL