What is I-ASC?

I-ASC (pronounced as “I-ask”) is the International Association for Spelling as Communication, a start-up 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 Practitioner training in Spelling to Communicate (S2C) with the hope that other methods of AAC using spelling or typing will join our association.

What is the mission and vision of I-ASC?

The Mission of I-ASC is to advance communication access for nonspeaking individuals globally through training, education, advocacy and research.
I-ASC’s vision is that with communication, nonspeaking individuals will have equitable and supported access to all aspects of lifelong education, employment, relationships, and community.

What is Spelling to Communicate (S2C)?

Spelling to Communicate (S2C) teaches individuals with motor challenges the purposeful motor skills necessary to point to letters to spell as an alternative means of communication (AAC). The goal is to achieve synchrony between the brain and body. Skilled and rigorously trained communication partners teach purposeful motor skills using a hierarchy of verbal and gestural prompts. As motor skills improve through consistent practice, students progress from pointing to letters on letterboards to spell to typing on a keyboard. Accordingly, communication moves from concrete to abstract as motor skills progress.

Is I-ASC a service provider, clinic or private practice?

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.

Is I-ASC a civil rights organization?

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.

What is I-ASC’s relationship to the Nonspeaking Community Consortium (NCC)?

There is a great deal of congruence in the missions of I-ASC and NCC which lead to the merging of the two organizations in November 2019. NCC’s mission for the last three years has been to promote access and communication choice for nonspeaking individuals through education, research, and advocacy. In merging with I-ASC the component of training has been added. I-ASC will continue to hold the Motormorphosis conference.

What is I-ASC’s relationship to Growing Kids Therapy Center (GKTC)?

GKTC is a private center and is not part of I-ASC. I-ASC is not a direct service provider. I-ASC is an 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 part-time. These two roles are separate.

  • S2C Practitioner training was formerly completed through GKTC. S2C Practitioner Training is now conducted under I-ASC with all fees paid to I-ASC.
  • ALL trained S2C Practitioners operate independently from I-ASC to teach, practice and coach S2C as a form of AAC to individuals or groups in an educational, lesson-based format.

What is the purpose of the S2C Practitioner Training?

The purpose of training S2C Practitioners is to increase the number of people to serve potential spellers and their families. S2C Practitioner will be rigorously trained, guided by standards of best practice and provided with continued support and resources following training. I-ASC hopes that practitioners of other methods of AAC for nonspeaking people with sensory-motor differences will eventually join the association to further this momentum

How is I-ASC staffed?

  • 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 five nonspeaking people, over the age of 18 who are able to fluently and openly communicate. The Nonspeaking Leadership Council members will be paid to advise the Board of Directors, the Practitioner Leadership Cadre, and the I-ASC Staff. The first five NLC members will recruit and additional five members.
  • I-ASC is also informed by eight, S2C Practitioner consultants who form the Practitioner Leadership Cadre who were recruited into the Leadership Cadre by I-ASC for their particular skills and expertise to help contribute to the initial content and infrastructure for the organization.
  • I-ASC is staffed by an Executive Director and is supported by a Deputy Director of Operations and Finance as well as a Deputy Director of Community Outreach and Development.
  • I-ASC Board of Directors serves as a governance board to guide the operations, finances, and management of I-ASC. The Board of Directors will meet quarterly. The Board will be provided with input and guidance of 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 support the I-ASC mission of increasing access to communication for nonspeaking individuals through training, education, advocacy and research.

What is I-ASC the Young Social Advocates initiative?

We know that true accessibility requires more acceptance and awareness in our communities at large and that young people are a strong voice in advocacy. I-ASC wishes to create a network of passionate and informed young people working to make acceptance and awareness a reality.

  • Advocate in large and small contexts for nonspeaking awareness and acceptance.
  • Connect nonspeaking individuals and young speaking individuals together to ensure advocacy led by nonspeakers.
  • Mentor young community leaders in presuming competence, neurodiversity, and accessibility across disciplines

Can I send you information?

We welcome you to send us articles, blogs, pictures, writing, testimonials – any information that you think might be helpful to our community! You can send submissions to communications@i-asc.org.

How do I volunteer for I-ASC?

Send us an email at info@i-asc.org.

How is I-ASC funded?

I-ASC is a nonprofit organization that is funded through private and public donations. We will also seek funding through grants. I-ASC will generate some incoming funds through S2C Practitioner Training and membership fees from practitioners.

How will I know that my donation has been utilized effectively?

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 will publish an annual report regarding allocation of resources and performance with regard to target goals, programs and activities. Email us at donations@i-asc.org if you have additional questions.

Do you apply for public and private grants?

Yes, we are actively looking for grants that support I-ASC’s mission. The entire staff is always on the alert of grant opportunities. Do you know of any grants that might be appropriate for I-ASC? Send us an email at grants@i-asc.org

Do you get federal, state, local government funding?

We are open to opportunities for funding at all levels – federal, state, local and private grants.

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