ACC Sponsored Conference Under Fire
An ACC sponsored conference dealing with sexual and physical abuse is creating a stir over comments made by some of its speakers.
The National Party’s Katherine Rich says: ACC must clarify role in abuse conference.
“This fringe conference has a wacky, and what appears to be in some cases a dangerous programme.
“I am not denying the right of people to gather and debate their ideas. What I am questioning is why taxpayer money is being diverted to fund the conference.
“ACC is being promoted as a major sponsor. The Minister needs to explain ACC’s involvement and divulge the level of sponsorship,” says Mrs Rich.
But it is MUCH worse than that!
A plenary speaker is Anne McDonald from Melbourne, who cannot talk, walk or feed herself. Her communication is ‘facilitated’ by Rosemary Crossley, the inventor of Facilitated Communication – a technique whereby a facilitator supports the hand or arm of a severely disabled person and thereby enables that person point to letters of the alphabet. This technique gives severely disabled people the ability to spell out words, sentences and even whole paragraphs of astonishing, unlikely and often wildly pornographic prose. As a result of Facilitated Communication (FC), 100s of families and caregivers worldwide have had their lives and careers destroyed by devastating and subsequently-discredited allegations of sexual abuse.
FC is not a valid technique and has clearly been demonstrated to be quackery.
The use of FC is opposed by organisations such as the AmericanPsychological Association, the American Association on Mental Retardation, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In the UK Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, President of the High Court Family Division has condemned FC as dangerous and that it should not be used by British courts to support or reject allegations of abuse.
NZ speakers at the conference also include group-action lawyers Roger Chapman and Sonja Cooper. Their workshop is entitled, “Damages claims for abusive treatment at psychiatric and psychopaedic hospitals.”