Our Mission Describes Our Program
Saved by Typing is committed to:
- Increase public awareness of the competence of autistic individuals especially the nonverbal assumed to be incompetent. We believe they should be treated with equal dignity and afforded the same opportunities for health care and education;
- Assist individuals on the autism spectrum to have access to improved quality of life in areas of emotional, social and medical care in family and community environments, while respecting their movement differences;
- Provide qualified training with proven standards and protocols to move some individuals to independence and enhance the communication abilities of others at home, with doctors, and in the community.
It is estimated that as many as 25 percent of individuals living with autism spectrum disorders are non-verbal. That is, they cannot functionally communicate with others using their voice. Despite that substantial fraction, we still know very little about these individuals, their abilities, and their needs.
Hundreds and perhaps thousands of nonverbal autistic are typing regularly throughout the world because they are unable to verbally communicate. Many more are trapped in in their bodies but can be welcomed into the world of communication by trained support persons.
Here in Indiana, these persons are found to be highly intelligent and able to express all emotions once communication is established. This population is underserved and often regarded as incompetent by the untrained. We seek to end this isolation and pain.
Saved By Typing is structured with the collaboration and support of family members and trained support personnel who have need of more training.
The goal of independence of communication is sought by many parents. The Institute on Inclusion and Communication at the Syracuse University School of Education provides introductory facilitator training and advanced training toward the goal of bringing a typer to independence, a requirement for receiving a Master Trainer Award.
In cooperation with the ICI, we will provide training for Indiana residents who live or work with these children in the home, social and medical environment, for those who seek a Master Trainer award.
We will provide education for those who are not aware of the power of bringing persons into the world of communication.
We will do grant writing, solicitations from friends and family, community outreach via education and demonstrations, and story telling to raise funds.
In 2013, at least two persons were able to communicate their love to their mothers for the first time because of our work. We expect these numbers to increase.
Todd Washburne in Vermont was 49 years of age when his voice was discovered. Now he communicates with his mother, writes letters to the editor of his local paper, and is able to address behavioral and medical issues he could not communicate about before.
We seek to find the Todd Washburnes of any age that reside in Indiana. Proven protocols and training will ensure valid communication from our typers. As professionals and parents are educated, more children will come more fully into the world of communication. As they participate in their own healing, some will become uniquely productive and all will be able to direct their own lives in ways that reduce the societal burden.
- James W. Smyth, Program Manager — (Website Bio)
- Karyn Willmann, Advisory Board — (Résumé PDF)
- Laura Poorman, Advisory Board — (Résumé PDF)
- Matthew Hobson, Advisory Board — (Résumé PDF)
- Robin Dotlich, Advisory Board — (Résumé PDF)