Chatter Matters Communication Camp 2024 - Variety - the Children's Charity of Wisconsin
| Posted on June 28, 2024


Chatter Matters is an invaluable camp to all participants - AAC users, siblings, and parents/guardians.  It is a testament to the quality and uniqueness of the program and staff/volunteers when families are seeking out this camp from California to Virginia...literally coast-to-coast.  Chatter Matters is not only a SE Wisconsin treasure; Chatter Matters is a national treasure.  This point is paramount for UW-Whitewater as the host institution and sponsors/grant funding sources to understand.  Parents who are isolated and working tirelessly to provide for their special needs children, clinging to hope that they can help their child find "their voice,"...and hanging on to their physical and mental health by a thread...and finally find a camp experience where their neurodivergent child can just be a child and they can find desperately needed community.  Siblings, living a life unknown and foreign to so many of their classmates and friends,...with their lives impacted in ways so few understand...can finally connect with fellow siblings of special needs families who share this road less traveled.  Campers, often cast as the only AAC user in their class, with so many barriers and challenges in their lives that no one but them who will ever fully appreciate, can finally find a camp where alternative and augmented communication is normalized...where having special needs is normalized....where they just can be "one of the kids" and not "THE kid"...where they are included in EVERY activity and are the stars of camp.  Campers can just have fun while benefiting from Speech Therapy without even realizing it.  Parents and guardians can be accepted, normalized, and enjoy a summer camp experience with their families while honing their skills to advance their child's communication abilities and device use, protect their families after gaining knowledge in financial and estate family planning, and improve the psycho-social health of their families after gaining a community and new friends for years after the Chatter Matters camp experience.  Chatter Matters is a quintessential resource that must be preserved and celebrated for future years to come for both our state's and country's special needs community.”

Justin Wienke, Chatter Matters Parent



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Chatter Matters Communication Camp is provided through a partnership between Variety of Wisconsin and UW-Whitewater. Thank you to our co-director Beth Swanson, graduate student clinicians from UW-Whitewater Communication Sciences and Disorders, AAC experts, volunteers, and our amazing sponsors: Culver's Foundation, WaterStone Bank, and Stackner Family Foundation. 


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