The Path to Independence: Step 5 – Training the Trainer

As the Facilitated Communication (FC) typer continues down the Path to Independence and their skills improve and advance, the facilitator/trainer should also continue to develop and improve their training techniques. The best way for them to do this is to set the goal of becoming a certified Master Trainer.

Facilitated Communication Training (FCT) is a process that begins with learning the foundational concepts as well as how to get started and continues through a period of skill building and working toward independence. The Institute on Communication and Inclusion at the Syracuse University School of Education provides this continuum of training through workshops, monthly skill building sessions, and an annual summer institute. Additionally, the Institute provides referral to trainers for assessments, individual skill building consultations and technical assistance.

For more information about these programs, go to Step 1 – Facilitator Training.

Training of Trainers Workshops

The next step for a facilitator to be considered as a Master Trainer is to learn how train others to be FC trainers.

A proficient facilitator with at least one year of experience who is interested in teaching others about the method can towards becoming a Communication Coach or Trainer. A trainer is able to get others started with supprted typing, as well as give group instruction, organize and teach workshops. The trainer works with facilitators and FC users at all levels of training.

A qualified trainer should have the ability to:

  • Teach others about the use of supported typing
  • Provide workshops to groups
  • Introduce FCT to a potential user of the method
  • Teach others to support an individual for communication
  • Help facilitators and FC users fade physical support and work toward greater independence
  • Support schools or agencies in the implementation of facilitated communication

The Institute on Communication and Inclusion at Syracuse University offer a Training of Trainers Workshop annually. This five day workshop combines advanced instruction in the research and theory of supported typing with the opportunity to work directly with communication aid users and their families. Training of Trainers participants also get to take part in leading an Introductory Training.

Additionally, Master Trainer training conferences and workshops are held in various locations across the country throughout the year. Check the ICI website for a calendar of Facilitated Communication training events. (opens in new window)

In the Central Indiana area, Saved By Typing, with seed-grant support from Answers for Autism, is presenting a Master Trainer Training Conference on April 26 and 27, 2014. This special event will bring Master Trainers certified by Syracuse University, New York, including an adult autistic typer and his support person who starred in the movie Wretches and Jabberers, to work with nonverbal autistic Hoosiers who type, their families, staff and doctors. Click here for more information about the program or to register for the event.