ACCEPTS, Inc.: FC Support and Advocacy for North Florida and Southeast ASD Community

Autism Rate Increase, 2000 - 2010 (click for larger image)

Autism Rate Increase
2000 – 2010
(click for larger image)

As members of the extended Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) community, we’ve all heard the statistics. As of 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 68 children have some form of ASD. One symptom of these disorders is the inability to speak or communicate, with as many as 25% of these children partially or completely nonverbal. As these numbers continue to grow, the need for social services, support, and advocacy for these individuals and their families also grows.

As the Autism Awareness/Acceptance movement grows, so do the number of organizations across the country that address the specific needs of nonverbal children and adults. This is the second in a series of profiles about these vital organizations. The first was about Wellspring Guild, an organization of top Facilitated Communication / Supported Typing Master Trainers who are developing a national training system for all that communities that want to improve their support services for their nonverbal autistic citizens (communicators.)

Another such organization is ACCEPTS, Inc., based in Jacksonville, Florida. ACCEPTS, which stands for Assuming Competence in Communication for Exceptional Persons through Typing and Socialization, provides Facilitated Communication training, special needs advocacy, and academic tutoring services to the nonverbal autistic community in the South Eastern region of the country. ACCEPTS represents the goal of acceptance and inclusion for persons with special needs.

ACCEPTS is the premiere center for Facilitated Communication Training in the Southeast region. Their staff, which is committed to using and teaching Best Practices, has been trained through programs developed by Syracuse University’s Institute on Communication and Inclusion and received supervision from members of the Master Trainers Association.

Click to visit the ACCEPTS, Inc. webite. (opens in new window)

Morgan Tyner, Founder/President of ACCEPTS, Inc.

With more than 12 years experience as a special needs educator, Morgan Tyner, founder and President of ACCEPTS, Inc., has witnessed firsthand the struggles of nonverbal autistic children whose intelligence was trapped inside bodies that would not respond with more than limited expressive language. In order to understand their plight and increase her abilities to help these children, Morgan began attending Syracuse University’s Institute on Communication and Inclusion training programs in 2014 to learn more about Facilitated Communication training. She received mentoring from several master trainers, and obtained membership in the Wellspring Guild. She has since been able to grow her reach in the Special Needs community, including coordinating and participating in numerous autism and FC workshops and conferences.

Morgan currently provides consultation and training for over 50 families across the United States and speaks in schools, churches, and businesses to promote advocacy and education. ACCEPTS, Inc. has become the premiere center for Facilitated Communication Training in the Southeast region. The staff has also been trained through Syracuse University’s ICI program and received supervision from members of the Master Trainers Association.

Everyone at ACCEPTS is committed to using and teaching Best Practices. Their core belief is that every person has the right to communicate, and the right to be treated with respect and dignity. Through education and advocacy, the goal of ACCEPTS is Presumed Competence and an inclusive society for all persons with special needs. The staff is dedicated to changing the attitudes of schools, communities, and social settings through informative awareness and advocacy.

The results of their efforts are evident in their clients’ progress, and in the thoughts these young people are now able to put into words:

“I want to type about my life of silence. My life of silence was hard. It was hard because it was very dull because nobody could know how I feel. I feel good because I can talk now. I feel my life is easier because I can type to talk.”
-Henry, Age 15

“I want to say I am in here. I understand. I dream just like you.”
– Matthew, Age 15

If only you knew life of silence. If only you knew just how hard it is. Then you would know how special it was for you to help us.
– Tyler, Age 18

For more information about this dedicated group of educators and other professionals, visit the ACCEPTS, Inc. website or their Facebook page. (Links open in new windows)