What is Supported Typing?

Sujit KurupSo very systematic and focused in the work and my learning showing my intelligence and depth of many subjects to the all folks who did not believe in my smartness. I find much serenity and lots of peace on my day to day activities can't do so without facilitated communication. The enhacnement of a very cloistered life to openness and more solid durable communication.

Sujit Kurup, High School student and FC user, June 2010.

Tyler Fihe“Without FC I am imprisoned in a body that cannot reveal who I really am. This form of communication has changed my life and it is no full of possibilities and opportunities for me to be heard in the world.”

Tyler Fihe, college student and FC user.

Facilitated Communication (FC) or Supported Typing is a form of alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) in which people with disabilities and communication impairments express themselves by pointing (e.g. at pictures, letters, or objects) and, more commonly, by typing (e.g. in a keyboard). The method involves a communication partner who may provide emotional encouragement, communication supports (e.g., monitoring to make sure the person looks at the keyboard and checks for typographical errors) and a variety of physical supports, for example to slow and stabilize the person’s movement, to inhibit impulsive pointing, or to spur the person to initiate pointing; the facilitator should never move or lead the person.

It often is referred to alternatively as Facilitated Communication Training because the goal is independent typing, nearly independent typing (e.g., a hand on the shoulder or intermittent touch) or a combination of speaking with typing - some individuals have developed the ability to read text aloud and/or to speak before and as they are typing. Typing to communicate promotes access to social interaction, academics and participation in inclusive schools and communities.

The person who provides support for communication is called a facilitator or communication support person. A facilitator can be a teacher or other professional, a family member or a friend. The person who receives the support is called the communication aid user or FC User.

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