This video tells an important story from my childhood. It’s important to me because it highlights both the persistence over a long time that I needed to figure things out before I learned to spell, and the importance of the support I got from my parents and caregivers even when they didn’t understand what I was up to: what we now call “presumption of competence.”

Last year I happened to meet an Asia curator at the Met, so of course I told him the story. The Met digital department reached out a few weeks later and asked me to tell the story for their series on people who use the museum in unusual ways. I wrote the narration and we did the shoot. I want to stress that the editing and interpretive work, cinematography and music —in other words the filmmaking— was all done by the Met after the shoot. They said that my storytelling guided and inspired their work, and I think they did a gorgeous job of interpreting what I wrote.

~Dan Bergmann



S2C, Spelling to Communicate, I-ASC, Autism, nonspeakersDan Bergmann is 24 and has been spelling for half his life. Answering questions has been the joy of his struggle with nonspeaking autism and led him to academic study. He hopes to be useful in his working life.




The mission of I-ASC is to advance communication access for nonspeaking individuals globally through training, education, advocacy and research.  I-ASC supports all forms of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) with a focus on methods of spelling and typing. I-ASC currently offers Practitioner training in Spelling to Communicate (S2C) with the hope that other methods of AAC using spelling or typing will join our association

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