We are a group of people who don’t speak with voices but with written words.
We come together to write creatively and share our thoughts.
We write about all kinds of things, real and imaginary.
We like to get together, write and share with one another.
Now we are also meeting, sharing, connecting and supporting each other using this online space.
WHAT IS FCT?
Facilitated Communication Training is an accessing strategy that may enable some people with complex communication needs to point to objects, pictures, symbols, words, and letters for communication purposes
(Queensland Government, Department of Families, Disability Program, Facilitated Communication Basic Workshop 1997).
Many people have movement disorders or brain dysfunctions that result in complex communication problems. Having little or no speech does not mean that intelligence is in any way impaired or that they have nothing to say. Facilitated Communication Training utilises a trained partner to provide support to point to pictures, words, or a keyboard.
FCT is a strategy where physical support is provided to steady and control, but not direct movement to units of meaning on a communication array. Units of meaning can be drawings, symbols, photos, words, or letters. An array can be low tech displays such as communication boards or high tech devices with speech output. With trained communication partners (facilitators) and years of practice, many users of this strategy are able to develop independent pointing movements with little or no physical support from a facilitator.
HOW IS FCT USED?
Many users of FCT prefer to communicate with literacy because it offers a chance to use their language rather than spoken, written, or drawn choices provided by others. Communicating by pointing to prepared choices or spelling enables a person to interact and be part of their community. Users of FCT need the assistance of trained communication assistants to enable them to access communication to reduce communication frustration and to provide opportunities for greater social inclusion.
Most of us use more than one method of communication. FCT is part of the field of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) which includes the use of signing, gesture, and independent pointing. Wherever possible, users of FCT are encouraged to use whatever other means of communication they can to express themselves effectively and reliably.
It takes two to communicate. Our members have access to resources, mentoring and training to assist them to use pointing not only to make choices and express needs but to converse. Conversation happens when people take turns communicating. Both parties have a chance to greet each other, decide on what to talk about, ask questions, and correct any misunderstandings.
Out members get together regularly to have conversations about a wide variety of topics. Some members also have blogs and websites to share their achievements and ideas with a wider audience. Several members have published poems, books and stories. Some have also presented at national and international conferences and seminars. Conversations with users of FCT are happening in the scientific as well as the general community.