Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act mandates accommodations that give effective communication to individuals with communication disorders.
Communication 4 ALL works to educate lawmakers about how the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act is not being fulfilled, particularly in schools where students are routinely denied their communication method of choice: spelling on a letterboard or typing on a keyboard with a communication partner.
Communication 4 ALL partners with innovative public and private schools to offer typing programs for nonspeakers. By creating beacons in the educational system, we seek to demonstrate how nonspeaking students can learn to type and succeed in mainstream schools. These pilot typing programs are showing the way. If you know a school that could benefit, please contact us.
C4A Academy is our global initiative (currently in development) for families to teach typing to anyone in the world via the internet free of charge. Through video-based lessons, we aim to break down the process step-by-step. Expert coaches will be available as communication partners learn how to coach their nonspeaking family members to overcome their motor challenges and learn to type. Stay tuned for updates on the Academy’s launch in Fall 2023.
My Representative, Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (above right) sponsored my meeting with more than a dozen Members of Congress and/or their key legislative staff on Capitol Hill, including Florida U.S. Senator Rick Scott to discuss
My follow-up continues…
Autism has become so prevalent that most people know someone affected by it. Nonspeakers often suffer the indignity of being misunderstood and mistreated, rather than being seen as intelligent people.
Only recently was it discovered that nonspeakers with autism have complex sensory-motor challenges, not cognitive ones, that prevent them from communicating. With the proper training and support, nonspeakers can be taught to type and achieve effective communication as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Through leveraging the power of film, music, and moving testimonials, C4A works to educate and inspire audiences to take action. Our movement building efforts include creating platforms for non-speakers with autism who type (typers) to share their stories and advocate for their non-speaking peers.
Through a growing network of local, national, and international partners, we connect people to concrete actions they can take to contribute to positive change in practices, systems, and policies.
Communication 4 ALL works with its partners to advocate for communication equality. Using the power of film, music, podcasts, and social media, Elizabeth tells her story of being one of the lucky few nonspeakers who were taught to type at an early age and mainstreamed in public school.
Elizabeth believes music has the power to touch the heart so the mind can listen. She wrote the lyrics, and The Bleeding Hearts wrote and performed the music for the album, I Am in Here. Ten songs span a range of genres from pop to Celtic, blues to gospel. The goal: to change the way the world sees nonspeakers with autism.
Elizabeth is a great example and role model for other young people—with and without disabilities—who have a vision of something they want to advance, focus and work hard on and how to go about making it a reality.
SPELLERS is a documentary that shows the power of communication for nonspeakers with autism. Elizabeth is one of eight featured stories. Please go to the Host a Screening section for information about how you can show SPELLERS in your home or community.
In Our Own Hands is a feature documentary about how patients are reinventing medicine. Through the passionate stories of three people who refuse to let their chronic medical conditions define their lives and futures, this groundbreaking documentary explores the new field of technology-enabled participatory medicine. Elizabeth Bonker is one of the people featured in this film.
On April 7, 2022, Elizabeth released the first two songs of a 10-song I Am in Here album. Elizabeth wrote the lyrics and The Bleeding Hearts, a Boston-based band wrote and performed the music. Included in the first two songs are the title track with this music video launching the #IAMINHERE revolution and “Silent Cage” featuring legendary guitarist Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine. The I Am in Here album is now released on all major streaming platforms and Bandcamp.
The Bleeding Hearts have a long history with Elizabeth going back to her birth. The lead singer, Laurie Ellington, was Elizabeth’s mother’s roommate in college and the rhythm guitarist Sean Coleman was her mother’s best friend in high school. The other members of the band have been friends for more than a decade and include lead guitarist Bill Danylik, drummer Jim Clements, and bass player Joe Sheil. The Bleeding Hearts have no website because they only play for good causes. We are blessed that they have worked with Elizabeth for almost the entire pandemic to create this album.
C4A is part of a growing movement of individuals and organizations dedicated to ensuring individuals with autism the right to communication guaranteed by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Show your support by using the hashtag #IAMINHERE on your favorite social media platforms
In 2011, C4A Founder Elizabeth Bonker co-authored I Am In Here. The book tells the story of a mother and daughter who refuse to give up hope, who celebrate their victories, and who keep trying to move forward despite the obstacles. Although she cannot speak, Elizabeth writes poetry that shines a light on the inner world of autism and the world around us. That poetry and her mother’s stirring storytelling combine in this inspirational book to proclaim that there is always a reason to take the next step forward—with hope.
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.