About

Mission

 To ensure all nonspeakers with autism

have access to communication and education.

As many as 40% of people with Autism are nonspeaking — more than 30 million worldwide. Yet only a small fraction of nonspeakers have been taught how to communicate.

Founded by advocate Elizabeth Bonker—who herself is affected by autism and types to communicate—Communication 4 ALL champions efforts to ensure communication is available to all nonspeakers.

A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Communication 4 ALL recognizes that the key to changing policies and practices begins with shifting mindsets. To do so, we’re leveraging the power of film, videos, music, and inspiring personal testimonies to “move hearts and minds.” Our goal: to build awareness—and action—to ensure that nonspeakers with autism have access to the communication and education essential to living meaningful lives.

Critical to our movement-building efforts is creating opportunities for non-speakers with autism who type (typers) to advocate for their rights. Through the campaign, C4A will celebrate and uplift the stories of typers, like Elizabeth, who have succeeded against the odds in developing communication skills. These young people have gone on to complete their educations and pursue cherished goals.

C4A recognizes that shifting attitudes and deeply held mindsets is critical to achieving lasting social change. Through the power of story, we seek to transform the narrative of what non-speakers with autism can achieve and underscore the existence of proven solutions to address their communication needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my child a candidate for learning how to type?

If your child has autism and cannot reliably speak (including repeating words and phrases), we believe they should be given the opportunity to learn to type to communicate. Elizabeth started to learn when she was five years old and says she could have started earlier.

But my child doesn’t even know the alphabet. How can they learn to type to communicate?

Your child’s intelligence has been measured through testing that requires planned motor movements including speaking or pointing to the answers. However, studies show most people with autism have dyspraxia, or difficulty with planned motor movements, and cannot respond appropriately to these tests. In our experience, nonspeaking children know their alphabet.

What is Augmentative and Adaptive Communication (AAC)?

AAC includes anything that helps a human being to communicate, including stencils, letterboards, and keyboards, including on an iPad.

What typing app does Elizabeth use on her iPad?

Elizabeth has used iMean for more than a decade. You can buy iMean on the App Store for only $5 for both iPads and iPhones. It was created by Dan Bergmann, a fellow typer, and his father. The app is particularly helpful in a classroom because it has voice output.

What makes a successful Communication Partner (CP)?

Elizabeth responded to this question in a recent Q&A: BELIEVE IN US. REGULATE YOURSELF. GIVE US YOUR POSITIVE ENERGY.

Founder’s Story

C4A grew out of the experiences of our Founder and Executive Director Elizabeth Bonker who is affected by autism and types to communicate. Elizabeth has been a passionate advocate for non-speakers with autism for more than a decade.

A poet, lyricist, and co-author of I Am In Here, Elizabeth has been featured in popular media outlets, including PBS and TEDMED, and in the documentary film, In Our Own Hands: How Patients are Reinventing Medicine. Elizabeth’s lyrics, as captured on her new album, speak to the emotional pain non-speaker’s experience and the extraordinary possibilities that are open to them when barriers to communication access are removed.

Board

Elizabeth headshot

Elizabeth Bonker, Founder/Executive Director

Elizabeth has been an advocate for nonspeakers with autism for more than a decade. Her book and album, I Am in Here, seek to change the way the world sees nonspeaking autism. Elizabeth has been a “speaker” at many conferences including Ashoka Changemakers and Autism Society’s Town Hall. Elizabeth graduated as a Valedictorian of Rollins College in 2022. Her Commencement Address went viral with more than 4 billion impressions worldwide.

Ginnie Breen, Chair

Ginnie spent her career in venture capital helping start-up companies grow and hopes to use those same skills to help Elizabeth grow C4A. She currently sits on the boards of public and private companies in technology and financial services. Ginnie is Elizabeth’s mother.

Daniel Bergmann, Director

Dan Bergmann graduated cum laude from Harvard Extension School in 2021, where he spoke to and for his undergraduate class at commencement using a text-to-speech computer. He is working to understand better what kinds of support non speakers need from neurotypical people and what kinds of support can be automated, so that communication by non speakers can spread quickly and easily. In October, 2021 he was invited to record a commentary for CBS Sunday Morning.

Grace headshot

Grace Moskola, Director

Grace is the Director of the Accessible Education Office at Harvard University. She has held professional roles in student accessibility services since 2010, including work at the University of Central Florida and Rollins College. Grace’s leadership in the field includes presenting at national conferences on social justice issues for students with disabilities. Her interests in this work include the Social Model of Disability, Disability identity development, intersectional identities, and universal design in learning. She is an advocate for the inclusion of non-speaking students in higher education.

Dosia headshot

Dosia Paclawskyj, Director

Dosia is a clinical psychologist who has spent the majority of her career working with children and adults with autism and behavioral challenges in addition to training staff and pre/postdoctoral fellows, consulting to community agencies, and teaching in various graduate programs. Her professional interests include autism and anxiety and the comorbidity of autism and dyspraxia.

Jim Zucco, Director

Jim has been a leading innovator in the communications and software industries for more than 40 years. He has been a successful CEO of both public and private tech companies. Today, he invests in early-stage companies and mentors promising entrepreneurs.

Partners

2M Foundation
Akhil Autism Foundation
Children with Autism Deserve Education (CADE)
Exceptional Learners Collaborative
Growing Kids Therapy Center
Helping Autism through Learning and Outreach (HALO)
Holland Center
International Association for Spelling as Communication (I-ASC)
Institute of Neurodiversity (ION)
Joey Lowenstein Foundation
Mouth-to-Hand Learning Center
Neurodiversity in Business
Next for Autism
SPELLERS
The Fund for Sustainable Tomorrows
Unlocking Voices Using RPM
Unrestricted Interest

Support Our Cause

At Communication 4 ALL, we are working to give all nonspeaking students with autism the communication of their choice in schools. Your gift helps us build awareness, connect families and schools with much-needed resources, and spark action. Please consider a donation to C4A today.