Hiram College


Sue Rubin, the subject of Oscar-nominated documentary “Autism is a World,” will be part of an informal discussion on autism at 4 p.m. on Oct. 29 at Koritansky Hall. The Center for Literature and Medicine is hosting the discussion.

Rubin is a functionally non-verbal published author. She speaks using facilitated communication, a controversial technique in which a facilitator supports the hand or arm of a communicatively impaired individual while using a keyboard or other device to help the individual to point and thereby to communicate. Her mother, Rita, who will also be part of the discussion, has written several articles about their life.

Sue graduated from Whittier College with a bachelor’s degree in May 2013. She considers herself to be a low-functioning autistic person, and has said a rift exists in the autistic community between high-functioning autistics, who often resist efforts to find a cure, and low-functioning autistics like herself, who strongly support a cure.

“High-functioning people speak and low-functioning people don’t,” Sue said. “Low-functioning people are just trying to get through the day without hurting, tapping, flailing, biting, screaming, etc. The thought of a gold pot of a potion with a cure would be really wonderful.”

Sue is a contributing author featured in the published collection “Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone,” edited by Douglas Biklen. The book features functionally non-verbal published authors with autism. Biklen writes that Sue has “become a leading disability rights advocate and keynote speaker at many disability conferences.”

This event is free and open to the public.

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