About Us

Who We Are 

I-ASC is committed to advancing communication access for nonspeaking, minimally speaking and unreliably speaking people through training, education, research and advocacy… thus commencing our advocacy network! Advocacy has proven, historically, to advance the rights of marginalized groups. Communication is a human right that is denied to nonspeakers

S2C, Spelling to Communicate, nonspeaking, nonspeakers, Autism, I-ASC, Speller, nonverbal, Spellebrity

We had our first meeting on October 6, 2019 where we started to determine our goals. After a long discussion we decided on the name Spellers and Allies Advocacy Network, to emphasize that nonspeakers and spellers guide this network with support from allies. Spellers and allies are equal participants. Together we created our culture code explaining our principles of solidarity.  

We want to educate everyone about the importance of neurodiversity and acceptance. We want to impact young students and professionals who will shape our future for the better. 

We accomplished many team projects during our origin year such as our Interview Project, Black Lives Matter solidarity video, a presentation at I-ASC’s 2020 Motormorphosis Picnic, and some spellers have shared individual presentations. We continue to work on projects, such as our Inclusive Education Campaign, that raise awareness about issues facing nonspeakers and how to support us. 

How We Work Together

S2C, Spelling to Communicate, nonspeaking, nonspeakers, Autism, I-ASC, Speller, nonverbal, S2C, Spellers & Allies, SAANOur group aspires to be a true partnership. Spellers believe firmly “nothing about us without us” and want to direct our own advocacy. Our allies embrace this perspective, coming alongside spellers in joint practical collaboration. We all share a mutual purpose and commitment to affect positive change for nonspeakers while forming friendships and having fun along the way.

We welcome all spellers over the age of 18 and all allies between the ages of 18 and 30. For allies who don’t meet this criteria, please contact us anyway. We value all motivation to be involved. Typically we meet twice a month as a large group. These meetings are co-facilitated via Zoom by a designated duo of 1 speller and 1 ally (these are always willing volunteers so no pressure)! In fact, our meetings just may be the first to have nonspeakers as facilitators! Spellers attend with their Communication Regulation Partners (CRPs). These are individuals who support the speller’s communication method. Agendas are preplanned and sent out in advance allowing ample time for reflection or preparation. The overall direction and specific work product are a group consensus always. All perspectives are valued and honored. We seek to fuse our individual talents into an energetic collective. 

How do we go about doing this? 

Through connecting and respecting. Our large group meetings are invigorating, a reflection of our many different gifts and personalities that when united, complement each other. Allies provide not only a non-AAC using l perspective, but also support for motor tasks that are tricky for spellers such as manipulating devices to access technology. To learn more about our mutual respect check out our culture code

S2C, Spelling to Communicate, nonspeaking, nonspeakers, Autism, I-ASC, Speller, nonverbal, S2C, Spellers & Allies, SAAN

A meeting might incorporate small or large group brainstorming and discussion, instructional presentations from a group member or guest, clever meme-making or introspective team building activities. Sometimes we meet as small work teams in between regular large group meetings. Here we can achieve focused progress toward a particular project and enjoy more member-to-member interaction. We also gather for virtual dance parties or game nights to punctuate our advocacy endeavors with fun.

S2C, Spelling to Communicate, nonspeaking, nonspeakers, Autism, I-ASC, Speller, nonverbal, Spellebrity

How refreshing it is to learn and laugh, on equal footing, with like-minded individuals whether neurodiverse or neurotypical. We are a unique group in this way and hope to grow larger and stronger with new members like you.

Orientation Handbook

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