Farewell to Rosemary Crossley, 1945-2023

Dr. Rosemary Crossley, AM, PhD, died on 10/5/2023. She was 78 years old. She became famous as a therapist with and advocate for people with little or no functional speech.

In case after case Crossley was able to establish a means of communication with the client, demonstrating that their diagnoses of intellectual disability had been made in error.  She described her methods as Facilitated Communication Training, involving co-active hand-on-hand movement at the beginning of the training process. While she always aimed for eventual independent communication, the method was criticised for allowing communicators to impose their messages on their partners.

Her book, “Annie’s Coming Out”,is an account of her work and struggle with Anne McDonald to develop their communication method, and it was an international bestseller and went on many school curriculums. It was later made into a movie of the same name, which won the AFI Best Picture award in 1984.

A celebration of Rosemary’s life and work will be held on Monday 5 June 2023 at 2 pm at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Flinders St Melbourne.

Anne McDonald Centre
Monday 29th May, 2023

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