asking questions is the first step to creating purposeful change
I-ASC (pronounced as “I-ask”) is the International Association for Spelling as Communication, a non-profit organization established in June 2019. I-ASC serves the nonspeaking, neurodiverse, and disability communities; their families; and trained professionals. I-ASC is committed to ensuring access to effective communication. I-ASC supports all forms of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) with a focus on methods of spelling and typing. I-ASC currently offers Certified Practitioner Training in Spelling to Communicate (S2C) with the hope that other methods of AAC using spelling or typing will join our association.
No, I-ASC is an association organized to connect people – nonspeakers, families, practitioners, advocates, researchers, and allies – for the joint purpose of increasing access to communication for nonspeaking, minimally speaking, and unreliably speaking people with motor-sensory differences affecting the ability to use speech as a primary means of communication.
I-ASC is not a civil rights organization, although I-ASC firmly believes in the overall rights of all nonspeaking, neurodiverse, and disabled people. I-ASC is focused on access to communication, the rigorous training and practice of spelling to communicate, and supports all forms of AAC and advocacy by and within the nonspeaking community. I-ASC admires the efforts of the many fine organizations and individuals who advocate for and work to advance the rights of nonspeaking, autistic, neurodiverse, and disabled people.
There is a great deal of congruence in the missions of I-ASC and NCC, which led to the merging of the two organizations in November 2019. NCC’s mission for three years was to promote access and communication choice for nonspeaking individuals through education, research, and advocacy. In merging with I-ASC, the component of training was added.
GKTC is a private center and is not part of I-ASC. I-ASC is not a direct service provider. I-ASC is a non-profit association seeking to advance access to communication for nonspeaking individuals. Elizabeth Vosseller, the Executive Director for I-ASC, founded GKTC and continues to work at GKTC on a limited basis.
S2C Practitioner training was formerly completed through GKTC. S2C Practitioner Training is now conducted under I-ASC, with all fees paid to I-ASC.
I-ASC is a nonprofit organization. (tax identification number 82-1395255)
I-ASC is, first and foremost, guided and informed by nonspeaking individuals, the true subject matter experts, who now spell to communicate.
The Nonspeaking Leadership Council (NLC) is currently comprised of nonspeaking people over the age of 18 who are able to communicate fluently. The Nonspeaking Leadership Council members are paid to advise the Board of Directors, the Practitioner Leadership Cadre, and the I-ASC Staff. I-ASC is also guided by S2C Practitioner consultants who form the Practitioner Leadership Cadre. These consultants are recruited into the Leadership Cadre by I-ASC for their particular skills and expertise to help contribute to the organization’s content, infrastructure, and Practitioner training.
I-ASC is staffed by an Executive Director and is supported by a Director of Operations, a Development and Outreach Specialist, and a Media and Outreach Specialist. The I-ASC Board of Directors provides governance and oversight that guides the operations, finances, and management of I-ASC. The Board of Directors meets quarterly and is provided with input and guidance from the Nonspeaking Leadership Council.
I-ASC is also fortunate to have the support of families of nonspeakers and several pro-bono advisors committed to helping build the organization and supporting the I-ASC mission of increasing access to communication for nonspeaking individuals through training, education, advocacy, and research.
We welcome you to send us articles, blogs, pictures, writing, testimonials – any information you think might be helpful to our community! You can send submissions to email@example.com.
We welcome volunteers, but our needs are ever-changing. Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for our current volunteer opportunities.
An ally is any person who doesn’t identify as nonspeaking, unreliably speaking or minimally speaking and who is interested in listening and advocating with nonspeaking people. Allies contribute skills and expertise (like taking notes, co-facilitating, and editing) while making space for nonspeakers to make the final decisions and guide the process. In Spellers & Allies, we use the term “allies” instead of “neurotypical” because we have a lot of speaking allies who are neurodivergent. We are looking for more allies and encourage you to join! For more on being an ally, read this blog post or review our guide on how to be a ally.
That is absolutely fine. We encourage you to join so you can learn more.
The Spellers & Allies Advocacy Network welcomes nonspeaking, minimally speaking, and unreliably speaking adults above the age of 18. We welcome allies and anyone interested in becoming an ally who is willing to assist spellers in realizing our goals and is above the age of 18. In order to keep the authentic voices of spellers in leadership and in recognition of the fact that parents typically serve as Communication Regulation Partners (CRPs) to spellers in the group, parents are asked not to join Spellers & Allies as allies. We encourage you to support our work in other ways.
We value parents SO much! Our network would not be successful without the dedication parents have to support their spellers as CRPs, by creating time so that spellers can participate in our advocacy projects and by sending numerous emails. Many of our spellers have shared that Spellers & Allies is one of the only spaces in their life where the focus is on them entirely. For this reason, we ask that parents support Spellers & Allies in different ways. Parents can amplify the voices of nonspeakers by supporting spellers as CRPs, attending our events, and spreading the word about our work.
We are collecting names and contact information for those who are interested in joining a youth advocacy group. If you are under 18 years old and interested in being involved, please email email@example.com.
Yes, listening is also a great way to participate! Please get in touch with a Spellers & Allies coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can meet with your CRP to think of ways to change our questions so that you can participate as much as possible.
We want as many people as possible to be involved in Spellers & Allies. Please email email@example.com with the times that you can meet, and we will see if there is a subcommittee you can participate in that has a flexible schedule. You are also welcome to participate by watching our meeting recordings and offering your thoughts through email.
Yes, Spellers and Allies Advocacy Network is run by nonspeakers. This entire presentation is created by nonspeakers spelling letter by letter on letterboards or keyboards. There are many misconceptions about nonspeakers which our presentations address.
What can you expect to learn from our presentation?
The presentation is entirely online and lasts about an hour including a Q and A session with nonspeaking members of the Spellers & Allies Advocacy Network.
Individuals with motor-sensory challenges that do not allow them to use their mouth to produce robust, reliable and effective communication.
All communication requires motor skills. Just because your nonspeaking loved cannot communicate via speech does not mean they do not understand or does not have anything to say!
About 70% of current spellers are autistic, the other 30% have other disabilities; such as Down Syndrome, Angelman Syndrome, Pitt Hopkins, Phelan-McDermid, and other genetic conditions or symptoms that affect motor-sensory skills. We would like to see that 30% grow. S2C teaches the motor skills necessary to spell communication by using a letter board and is not limited to use with autistic students.
S2C is appropriate for anyone age 5 or older who is nonspeaking, minimally speaking or unreliably speaking. Just as with traditional education, we adapt to the individual learning needs of a specific student. We know that all students can and want to learn.
If your child is three or younger, we recommend allowing traditional speech therapy, occupational therapy, and early intervention the chance to possibly work. In the meantime, “feed the brain." You can feed the brain by reading age-appropriate books aloud, using age-appropriate language, and practicing skills that build purposeful hand-eye coordination, such as catching balls, tracing letters, etc.
If your child has reached the age of four, please contact us now to discuss when it might be appropriate to start seeing an S2C practitioner. We may recommend a consultation with a certified S2C Practitioner to give you some ideas to build some motor and literacy skills to get ready for S2C.
Yes! About 70% of our clients are autistic, and the other 30% have other disabilities, such as Down Syndrome, Angelman Syndrome, and other genetic conditions or symptoms that affect motor-sensory skills. S2C teaches the motor skills necessary to spell communication using a letterboard and is not limited to use with autistic students.
Our focus is on communication versus speech. Research has consistently shown that the use of AAC will not decrease speech and often increases speech. We have seen anecdotal evidence that one of the happy byproducts of using letterboards can sometimes improve speech. Our purpose is to teach a reliable and effective means of communication. It is important to note that learning S2C is not incompatible with other therapeutic interventions such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, music therapy, and special education services you may choose to pursue as well.
We celebrate ALL means of communication! Many of our clients use multiple means of communication - spelling, AAC apps, speech generating devices, and sometimes speech.
Learning the motor skills to accurately spell on 26 letters leads to full, robust, flexible communication. Many other forms of AAC, such as picture exchange apps, use whole words and icons to construct sentences. These methods often also require complex motor skills and even when mastered, it’s impractical to program these apps with every word in a language. As such, these forms of AAC often can’t be used to engage fully with a teacher, discuss current events, or have meaningful conversations with friends and family. However, a person can say anything at all by learning the motor skills to choose from just 26 letters in the alphabet. As we like to say, “Twenty-six letters equals infinite possibilities!”
In 2015, Elizabeth Vosseller developed Spelling to Communicate (S2C)™ as a method with clear protocols, processes, and procedures for spelled communication that is replicable, reliable, responsible, and researchable.
Yes, Spelling to Communicate™ (S2C™) is a trademarked method. I-ASC holds the trademark and intellectual property rights for S2C, its procedures, regulations, and training. I-ASC is the sole source of training to become a Certified S2C Practitioner.
I-ASC embraces and supports nonspeaking people and any method they use to communicate. I-ASC is the sole source of training in Spelling to Communicate (S2C). S2C is developed with specific procedures to ensure reliable, replicable, and responsible best practices. In order to maintain the integrity of the S2C methodology, it cannot be combined with other approaches for spelling and typing.
The three legs of the evidence-based stool work together to create a balanced approach, where research evidence, clinical expertise, and patient values are integrated to make informed and individualized decisions. This framework helps ensure that interventions and decisions are grounded in the best available evidence while considering the unique needs and preferences of the individuals involved. Visit our research page for more information.
A certified S2C Practitioner is trained to work with any number of clients with a number of possible profiles (young, adult, high anxiety, dysregulated, etc.) and teach the process of S2C from beginning to end.
Anyone sitting next to a speller, holding the board, is serving at that moment as the speller's CRP because they are providing communication assistance and co-regulating the speller.
A CRP is a one-to-one communication support. This person gets speller-specific training to work with a particular speller at their current skill level. The CRP can be a parent, sib, or aide. The certified S2C Practitioner provides guidance and supervision. CRPs need careful training and supervision. Generally, someone who is only a CRP serves as a one-to-one aide, and the S2C Practitioner is a professional working with multiple spellers.
Parents who wish to become an S2C Practitioner but do not have hands-on experience in education or a clinical background are required to take the S2C Parent Cohort Training first offered by one of our partner organizations. Experience has shown that parents fare far better with the rigors of the Practitioner training program after taking this course.
Most applicants for S2C Practitioner training have a background in education or clinical work. Previous clinical or educational experience is not an absolute requirement to take the S2C Practitioner Training. We are happy to consider your application and, when appropriate, will refer you for additional preparation before accepting you into a cohort to ensure your success.
The purpose of training S2C Practitioners is to increase the number of people to serve potential spellers and their families. S2C Practitioners are rigorously trained, guided by standards of best practice, and provided with continued support and resources following training.
S2C is developed with specific procedures to ensure reliable, replicable, and responsible best practices. In order to maintain the integrity of the S2C methodology, it cannot be combined with other approaches for spelling and typing. I-ASC is the authority in the science and methodology of Spelling to Communicate, known as S2C™, and is the exclusive source of training in the rigorous Spelling to Communicate™ method.
Upon successfully completing I-ASC's Spelling to Communicate Practitioner Training Program, demonstrating the competencies and skills required to support the communication of nonspeaking individuals of all ages and profiles, participants will be qualified to be Certified S2C Practitioners. Graduates will be fully prepared to work in various settings, including home or center-based private practices or schools that use S2C with their students. In addition, graduates are eligible for membership to our private member-only practitioner portal, which provides ongoing access to hundreds of lessons, a comprehensive resource library, practice guidelines, a network of active practitioners, and continued support.
No, this course is not designed to teach you to professionally train others in Spelling to Communicate practices. This course is designed to teach you to use Spelling to Communicate with nonspeaking, minimally speaking, and unreliably speaking individuals of various ages and profiles. Certified S2C Practitioner training can only be taken through I-ASC. Certified S2C Practitioners can train individuals to be Communication Regulation Partners (CRPs) to individual nonspeakers.
The cost of I-ASC's S2C Training program is $3,000.00 USD. Additional costs can include the purchase of letterboards and travel costs surrounding the required internship. Payment plans and financial assistance may be available for highly qualified candidates with financial need.
Generally, students will work 5-10 hours per week on this program, depending on the assignments due and the seminar schedule. Every practitioner in training must work with a minimum of 3-5 different clients during training. Parents or relatives of nonspeakers can only submit 1-2 clinical assignments working with their nonspeaking loved one.
Each training cohort consists of eight to fifteen future S2C Practitioners grouped by similar time zones. New cohorts begin when a cohort has reached the current minimum enrollment.
All participants are assigned a primary mentor practitioner. Your mentor will guide you through your clinical competencies, answer questions, and review videos to support your successful course completion. All mentors are graduates of I-ASC's S2C Practitioner Training Program and are experienced, highly skilled, active registered S2C Practitioners in good standing.
I-ASC is a nonprofit organization that is funded through private and public donations. We will also seek funding through grants. I-ASC also generates funds through S2C Practitioner Training and practitioner membership fees.
Donations submitted to I-ASC are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law and are processed in U.S. dollars. I-ASC is a U.S. nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization (tax identification number 82-1395255) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. I-ASC publishes an annual report regarding the allocation of resources and performance concerning target goals, programs, and activities. If you have additional questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, we are actively looking for grants that support I-ASC’s mission. The entire staff is always on the alert for grant opportunities. If you know of any grants that might be appropriate for I-ASC, email us at email@example.com.
We are open to opportunities for funding at all levels – federal, state, local, and private grants.
To donate by bank wire, call us at 703-454-0202 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can set up a personalized donation link for you.
To donate by snail mail, send a check or money order in U.S. dollars made payable to I-ASC and mail it to:
Herndon, VA 20170
Yes, recurring donations can be done through our giving portal.
I-ASC is honored that you would think of us at this difficult time. To set up a fund in honor of a loved one, call us at 703-454-0202 or email us at email@example.com, and we can set up a personalized donation link for you.
Donations submitted to I-ASC are tax-deductible. I-ASC is a U.S. nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization (tax identification number 82-1395255) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Please direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 703-454-0202
I-ASC registers in each state in which it fundraises to the extent required by law. Financial and other information about I-ASC’s purpose, programs, and activities can be obtained by contacting us at email@example.com or as stated below if you are a resident of one of the following states:
REGISTRATION WITH ANY OF THESE STATE AGENCIES DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY ANY STATE.
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