Spelling to Communicate (S2C) is best understood as a form of ALTERNATIVE AND AUGMENTATIVE COMMUNICATION, AAC for short, where S2C Practitioners provide an assistive technology service, AT SERVICE, by teaching nonspeaking, minimally speaking, and unreliably speaking individuals with motor difficulties how to communicate by pointing to letters. Under the US ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY ACT of 2004, States have to provide DIRECT AID to ensure that people with disabilities have the assistive technology that they need. AT services are described in the IDEA (which we will further discuss below) as “any services that support a child in the SELECTION, ACQUISITION, or USE of an assistive technology device.”
Spell: ACQUISITION Spell: 2004
How is S2C best understood? ALTERNATIVE AND AUGMENTATIVE
What is the acronym used for alternative and augmentative communication? AAC
The US Assistive Technology Act states that the government must provide what to ensure that disabled people have the assistive technology that they need. DIRECT AID
What do S2C Practitioners provide? AT SERVICES; ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY SERVICE
In the IDEA, AT services are described as any services that support a child with what? SELECTION, ACQUISITION, or USE OF AN AT DEVICE
Name another assistive technology aside from a letterboard. WHEELCHAIR; HEARING AID; CRP; etc.
The Americans with Disabilities Act was established in 1990; US Assistive Technology Act was established in 2004. Find the difference between those years. 2004 – 1990 = 14 YEARS
Name a law or act that supports S2C in a country other than the United States.
Furthermore, in the IDEA, an assistive technology device (AT DEVICE) is described as “any piece of EQUIPMENT or PRODUCT SYSTEM, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain or improve the FUNCTIONAL CAPABILITIES of children with disabilities. S2C is best described as Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) because this title addresses AT devices that SPECIFICALLY support individuals with EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION. The MATERIALS used in S2C: letterboards, including stencils, laminates, and foam boards, as well as wireless keyboards, pads, computers, and text-to-voice applications, are all examples of AT Devices.
Spell: EQUIPMENT Spell: SPECIFICALLY
An assistive technology device is used to increase, maintain or improve the
________ of children with disabilities. FUNCTIONAL CAPABILITIES
S2C is best described as AAC because it explicitly supports individuals with what? EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
An AT device is described as any piece of equipment or ______. PRODUCT SYSTEM
Name 2 materials used in S2C. STENCILS, LAMINATES, KEYBOARDS, IPADS, ETC.
Name one way an assistive technology device may be acquired. COMMERCIALLY (OFF THE SHELF), MODIFIED, OR CUSTOMIZED
What is an antonym for the word ‘augmentative’?
Name a store/company/organization where you can buy an AT device from.
APPLE, GROWING KIDS THERAPY CENTER
In a short sentence, describe what the word ‘support’ means to you.
Today the INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT, IDEA, instituted in 1999, is in place to ensure that disabled students are given the support they need to ACCESS education. Within the IDEA, inclusion is made up of TWO elements. The first is the right to the LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT, LRE, which means that disabled students should be educated within classrooms with typical MAINSTREAM peers to the FULLEST EXTENT possible. It goes on to say that “REMOVAL of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of SUPPLEMENTARY aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.”
Spell: ENVIRONMENT Spell: SUPPLEMENTARY
Within the IDEA, _____ is made up of two elements. INCLUSION
IDEA is in place to ensure that disabled students are given the support they need to _____ education. ACCESS
What is the term that describes that disabled students should be educated within classrooms with typical mainstream peers to the fullest extent possible? LEAST
RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT (LRE)
Name one thing regarding an individual’s disability that may affect the removal from a regular education environment, stated under the IDEA. NATURE, SEVERITY
What is a synonym for the word ‘satisfactorily’?
What is the difference in years between the year you were born and the year the IDEA was instituted? BIRTHDATE – 1999 = __ YEARS or 1999 – BIRTHDATE = __ YEARS
The second element of IDEA that ensures the inclusion of nonspeaking individuals in schools is the right to FREE APPROPRIATE PUBLIC EDUCATION, FAPE. FAPE states that educational programs need to be INDIVIDUALIZED to a specific child so that it meets the child’s needs, provide access to GENERAL CURRICULUM, meet GRADE-LEVEL standards established by the State, and provide EDUCATIONAL BENEFIT. When FAPE and LRE come together, every student must be provided with the support and accommodations they need in order to learn alongside their peers in general education classrooms.
Spell: CURRICULUM Spell: APPROPRIATE
The second element ensures _____ of nonspeaking individuals in schools. INCLUSION
What is the acronym used to describe the second element of inclusion? FAPE
FAPE states that educational programs need to be ______ to a specific child.
Name one reason an educational program must be individualized to a specific child. MEET THE CHILD’S NEEDS, ACCESS TO GENERAL CURRICULUM, MEET GRADE LEVEL STANDARDS, EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS.
What is one thing every student must be provided with in order to learn alongside their peers in general education classrooms? SUPPORT, ACCOMMODATIONS
If you were to add a third element to the ‘inclusion equation,’ what would it be?
There are 50 states in the United States of America… name 3 of them. Poke the word ‘inclusion’ in the image above.
DIVYESH JAIN, a nonspeaking member of S&A, said, “We need to share information about the laws that help nonspeakers use letterboards in schools and colleges to study with their PEERS.” Ben Crimm reflected, “I firmly believe that we have the LEGAL JUSTIFICATION to demand that schools must provide academic instruction in the least restrictive environment and that SPECIAL EDUCATION CLASSES as currently conducted do not meet that standard. Students who are nonspeaking are LEGALLY ENTITLED to all Assistive Technology that they require, including alphabet boards, electronic devices, and communication support staff, in order to exercise their fundamental right to communicate. Let’s recruit accomplices, not just allies, who will work with us and march toward our goal!”
Spell: JUSTIFICATION Spell: ENTITLED
What is the name of the nonspeaking member of S&A introduced in this paragraph? DIVYESH JAIN
Divyesh believes we need to share _____ about the laws that help nonspeakers use letterboards in schools. INFORMATION
Ben Crimm said students who are nonspeaking are ________ to all assistive technology that they require. LEGALLY ENTITLED
Name one of the examples Ben listed when referring to assistive technology. ELECTRONIC DEVICES, COMMUNICATION SUPPORT STAFF, ALPHABET BOARDS
Give an example of a common legal justification that might be used in court. SELF-DEFENSE, BREAKING INTO A HOME ON FIRE, ETC.
Research demonstrates that disabled and NONDISABLED students receive better math and reading scores, better SOCIAL and communication skills, fewer referrals for DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOUR, and a higher likelihood for EMPLOYMENT and independent living when educated TOGETHER. Thus, nonspeakers can rest assured that their presence in general education classrooms has demonstrated an increased benefit to their non-disabled peers. During Dawnmarie’s presentation, she emphasized that the law does not say that disabled students can only access education if they EARN it or if they KEEP UP. Nonspeaking people have a right to inclusive education, as described by LRE and FAPE, no matter what.
Spell: TOGETHER Spell: DISRUPTIVE
Nonspeakers’ presence in general education classrooms has demonstrated an increased _____ to their non-disabled peers. BENEFIT
What do nonspeaking people have a right to, no matter what, as described by LRE and FAPE? INCLUSIVE EDUCATION
The law does not say that disabled students can only access education if what? Give one example. THEY EARN IT; THEY KEEP UP
Name one thing research demonstrates that disabled and nondisabled students receive when educated together. BETTER MATH AND READING SCORES, BETTER SOCIAL AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS, ETC.
Name another benefit you think disabled and nondisabled students might receive from being educated together.
DANNY WHITTY, a nonspeaking member of S&A, reflected, “The main points for me were the immense RESISTANCE schools put into denying our access to communication by letterboard; the services I was blocked from in school; the POTENTIAL I lost over years of SEGREGATED education; and the laws already in place need to be IMPLEMENTED. These thoughts trouble me but motivate me to advocate for our community.” Danny, amongst others in our network, shared experiences of being blocked from using a letterboard in their educational environments.
Spell: SEGREGATED Spell: POTENTIAL
What is the last name of the individual quoted in this paragraph? WHITTY Danny, amongst others in our network, shared experiences of being ____ from using a letterboard in their educational environments. BLOCKED What do Danny’s thoughts motivate him to do? ADVOCATE FOR OUR COMMUNITY
Name one point of Danny’s main points he listed in his reflection. RESISTANCE FROM SCHOOLS, POTENTIAL HE LOST, LAWS NEED TO BE IMPLEMENTED, ETC.
In a sentence, tell me what motivates you.
Read Judy Heumann’s quote written on the stairs in the image above. Then poke it.
Often schools seem to believe that forms of AAC aside from S2C provide more effective communication for nonspeaking people and therefore provide these AT services and devices to their students. Nonspeaking students, however, can TAKE BACK their right to choose their method of communication through the ADA, which states that primary consideration is given to the disabled individual to decide their preferred mode of communication. This means that if nonspeaking people are using S2C or letterboards OUTSIDE of school FLUENTLY and it is their most effective mode of communication, they can request it in school, and the school, under US disability laws, must provide it as well as the NECESSARY TRAINING, and SERVICES for it to be used effectively.
Spell: NECESSARY Spell: FLUENTLY
Often schools seem to believe that forms of AAC aside from S2C provide ____ effective communication for nonspeaking people. MORE
Nonspeaking students can ______ their right to choose their method of communication. TAKE BACK
The ADA states that primary consideration is given to the disabled individual to decide what? THEIR PREFERRED METHOD OF COMMUNICATION
Give one example of what the school must provide for somebody who uses S2C fluently and as their most effective mode of communication. LETTERBOARDS, NECESSARY TRAINING, AND SERVICES FOR IT TO BE USED EFFECTIVELY
What is another way of saying “take back”?
Name a school in your community.
The Spellers and Allies Advocacy Network plans to advocate to make access to education and effective communication a REALITY for all nonspeaking, unreliably speaking, and minimal people. In hearing about our lesson, Dawnmarie wanted to leave us with this, “If you ever find yourself feeling DISCOURAGED when advocating for your CIVIL RIGHTS or those of another nonspeaker, I recommend finding comfort in the inspirational words of MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. He said, “The ARC to the moral universe is long, but it bends towards JUSTICE.” Together we are stronger and united; we can bend the arc towards inclusion, access to communication devices, and quality education programs for all!”
Spell: DISCOURAGED Spell: REALITY
Who said the quote, “The arc to the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice”? MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
S&A plans to _____ to make access to education and effective communication a REALITY for all nonspeaking, unreliably speaking, and minimally people.
Together we can ‘bend the arc’ towards what? Give another example shared in the lesson. INCLUSION, ACCESS TO COMMUNICATION DEVICES, QUALITY EDUCATION PROGRAMS
What is the title of Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous speech? I HAVE A DREAM
Name someone who inspires you.
You heard from a number of nonspeakers in this lesson. What are your thoughts and feelings about this lesson?
Write a thank you to one of the laws discussed in this lesson.
Imagine you were a member of S&A. What quote would you have wanted to add to this lesson?
Imagine a world where nonspeakers are in power and have, over centuries, created it to be perfectly accessible for them. Write a paragraph/short story about this world.
Use the links below to learn more about these disability laws. Then, write a short summary of what you learned.
Help I-ASC research the laws that support disabled people in your country. After completing your research, write a summary and share it with I-ASC.
Inspired by the murals created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ADA, create your own picture using collage or paint to commemorate a law that is important to you. Write a quote to add to your picture.
Share your creative writing or art as a comment on the I-ASC Facebook post, or send your summary to the Spellers & Allies here: firstname.lastname@example.org! We would love to hear from you.
Special thanks to Dawnmarie Gaivin for coming to speak with the Spellers & Allies Advocacy Network. As Sarah shared, you are a resource and ally!