Facilitated
Communication
Training
Standards
Facilitated Communication Institute
Syracuse University
© 2000

Note:  This document is available in a more easily reproduced print form, available for $US 6.00 from the Facilitated Communication Institute, 370 Huntington Hall, Syracuse NY 13210 USA.


 
 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgments 4
Section I: Introduction 5
Section II: Fundamental Principles and Best Practices 7
Section III: Framework for Training and Technical Assistance 17
Section IV: Facilitator Competencies 20

RESOURCES:
31
   Appendix I: Bibliography 32
   Appendix II: Supervision Checklist  34
   Appendix III: FC User Skill-Building Profile 45



 
 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The training standards development project was coordinated throughout by Marilyn Chadwick, and was supported in part through the funding of the Nancy Lurie Marks Foundation. This document was edited by Mayer Shevin and Marilyn Chadwick.

Several committees worked on the development of these standards. The chairs of these committees were Harvey Lavoy, Carolyn Nuyens, Julie Reese, Rita Rubin, and Mayer Shevin. Participants in these committees included Janine Avalos-Guncic, Douglas Biklen, Ed Bielecki, Patrizia Cadei, Don Cardinal, Pascal Crevedi-Cheng, Rosemary Crossley, Pat Edwards, Debbie Gilmer, Darlene Hanson, Stephanie Jasuta, Nancy Kalina, Alan Kurtz, Mary Lapos, Nancy Rice, and Janna Wood.

Many people provided helpful feedback on early drafts of this document, including Judy Barta, June Bascom, Jean Beisler, Char Brandl, Shelly Brown, Harriett James, Wendy Kaplan, Laurie Kruzshak, Sandra McClennan, Patty McKitterick, Susan Nettleton, Daniel Orlievsky, Tracy Prokop, Robert Recktenwald, and Ludo VandeKerckhove.

A number of earlier standards and guidelines on best practices in facilitated communication were consulted in the preparation of this document. They include:


INTRODUCTION

History of this document

At the close of the national facilitated communication conference held in Syracuse in May, 1998, a meeting was held to discuss the need for developing standards for the training and use of facilitated communication (FC). At that meeting, we decided to develop a document which clearly describes the elements of best practice in facilitated communication, and outlines a training process which promotes those best practices. Our intention was to produce a document which would:

This document represents the work of approximately 20 highly experienced facilitated communication trainers from the United States and Australia. It is the first edition of a work which will, by its nature, be continuously subject to revision and refinement.

Who is it for?

This document is intended to be of use to:

What's included in this document?

This document is made up of several interconnected parts:

What this document is not:

This document is not intended to serve as a free-standing "how-to" manual; since mentorship and supervision are a vital part of the training process, this document is intended to serve as a tool supporting that personalized guidance. Neither is this document a professional code, dealing with the issues of accountability, liability, or ethical practice as defined by various professions. Rather, this document attempts to define best practices across professions, with the facilitated communication user as the primary reference point. It is not a model policy for agencies or districts, although it could be of great use in the development of such policies.

How to access the training called for in this document

The Facilitated Communication Institute of Syracuse University serves as an informational clearinghouse on training in facilitated communication throughout North America. It provides the kinds of training described in this document, and maintains lists of regional resources in training and supervision as well. The Institute can be contacted by mail, at

Facilitated Communication Institute
Syracuse University
370 Huntington Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244-2340.

Telephone: (315)443-9657
FAX: (315)443-2274
Email: fcstaff@sued.syr.edu
Website: http://soeweb.syr.edu/thefci



 
 

Section II

FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND BEST PRACTICES


How to use this section: 
 The information included in this section should be read by anyone involved in facilitated communication, or anyone involved in considering the use of facilitated communication by someone with a communication impairment. Administrators and program coordinators are encouraged to make the contents of this section available to anyone involved in supporting a current or potential facilitated communication user.

 This section contains a summary of currently acknowledged best practices related to the responsible, effective and sustainable implementation of facilitated communication training (FCT); it also grounds these practices in a set of beliefs and values which inform and sustain them.  The principles and practices here can serve as a basis for
     •    evaluating existing services;
     •    setting goals and a long-range direction for services being planned; and
     •    bringing collaborative teams “up to speed” on this aspect of their shared enterprise.

1. Citizenship and the Presumption of Competence

Citizenship is membership in a community which is a person's by right, regardless of her or his specific qualities, skills or characteristics. Citizenship carries with it a presumption that a person's interests and those of her or his community are somehow intimately linked with each other.

Acknowledging the citizenship status of individuals with significantly impaired communication directs us towards making certain presumptions on behalf of those persons -- most specifically, that they belong in, and have a direct interest in, the surrounding community, and that they are capable of communicating when properly supported with the assistance of appropriate aids and techniques.

It is especially important that difficulties with communication not be taken as evidence of intellectual incompetence. Although a person may be unable to demonstrate what she or he thinks and feels, or may have great difficulty being understood, she or he should not be further handicapped by the attitudes of others.

2. The Right to Communicate

The right to communicate is both a basic human right and the means by which all other rights are realized. All people communicate. In the name of fully realizing the guarantee of individual rights, we must ensure

Where people lack an adequate communication system, they deserve to have others try with them to discover and secure an appropriate system. No person should have this right denied because they have been diagnosed as having a particular disability. Access to effective means of communication is a free speech issue. (TASH, Resolution on the Right to Communicate, November, 1992)
 

3. Empowering the Facilitated Communication User

Language and communication have many functions. For example, Halliday (1975) identifies the seven main functions of language as The goal of facilitated communication is to allow facilitated communication users to use language to accomplish all of these functions.

To do this, facilitated communication users need to be provided with opportunities for empowerment. This is accomplished through the shared efforts of facilitated communication users, their facilitators and those with whom they interact. As in all forms of communication, especially those where prominent power and status differences exist among the participants, we know it is possible for facilitated communication users to be influenced by their facilitators.

So what can we do as facilitators to acknowledge and take responsibility for this while supporting the empowerment of the person with whom we work? The first step in changing our practices is always our awareness of those practices.. We can ask ourselves such questions as, "Am I determining the pace or am I allowing the facilitated communication user to determine the pace?", "Am I getting a third person's attention or am I teaching the facilitated communication user how to do that?", "Am I determining who reads or hears what the facilitated communication user has typed, or am I letting the facilitated communication user determine who receives his or her communication?"

By identifying the decisions one makes as a facilitator, sharing that information with the facilitated communication user, and then gradually helping the facilitated communication user to assume responsibility for those decisions, we decrease the facilitated communication user's dependence on the facilitator, increase the facilitated communication user's autonomy and control during interactions, and empower each individual to use language and communication to the fullest (Sabin, 1994).

4. Total Communication Approach

The approach of facilitated communication training is not meant to replace established, effective strategies currently being used by a person; rather, it is meant to provide a means whereby that person can expand current strategies and develop a more comprehensive means of expression. As a person learns to use facilitated communication, his or her current strategies should not be ignored but utilized, both to build intent and to expand his or her interactions. Facilitated communication should always be offered as part of a full system of strategies which might include sign language, simple gestures and facial expressions, single words and phrases, and independent pointing. This would allow a person the greatest opportunity to communicate in various situations and to decide which strategy can be used most effectively in a given circumstance. New communication strategies may develop from the use of facilitated communication; for example, many individuals who use facilitated communication have experienced an increase in their ability to use speech effectively. It is expected that, over time, individual facilitated communication users will grow in their use of facilitated communication, and that the ways they use facilitated communication will change. This might include both changes in the way they use it to interact with others, and in the way they combine facilitated communication with other communication strategies. Facilitators need to be ready to 1)provide appropriate support, 2) use an effective combination of strategies, and 3) promote the user's ability to change the combination of strategies to improve effectiveness (e.g., using word prediction software, reading aloud what is typed).

5. Collaborative Team Approach

Support and commitment from an aid user's team (program planning team, circle of support, etc.) is critical to long term success with augmentative/alternative communication (AAC) and facilitated communication training. In order to be empowered and personally invested in any communication evaluation, planning, and teaching/learning, the aide user must be included and involved from the outset, and on a regular ongoing basis, in decisions which relate to

In addition to the facilitated communication user, parents, other family members, and others who know the person well will usually play a vital role in obtaining and providing this information, in initiating action, and in other aspects of the decision-making process.

It is important to gain consensus from the team on the use of facilitated communication training when an individual has been assessed as a candidate for training. While members of a team may have varying perspectives on the efficacy and validity of facilitated communication, it is helpful that their discussions not become polarized. To assist team members in making decisions about the use of facilitated communication, they should all receive the most current information on what facilitated communication is and how it works as well as a comprehensive look at the issues surrounding it. They need to be able to understand why the person they are involved with might be a good candidate. As part of this educational process, it is helpful to have people with extensive experience with facilitated communication and a broad range of other AAC approaches available to answer questions, provide new information, and problem solve around specific issues and concerns. In the end, the individual and his or her team must determine the appropriateness of facilitated communication training and other educational and augmentative approaches to communication, and whether or not to pursue them.

6. Assessment

In order for facilitated communication training to be considered and successfully implemented, two things must occur: an individual needs to be identified as a candidate and those who support that individual need to show commitment to the training process. Both of these elements begin with the assessment.

The goal of assessment in facilitated communication training is to determine the benefit of facilitated communication for an individual, and, if applicable, give recommendations concerning the specific use of the method with that candidate. In determining the benefit of facilitated communication training for an individual, the following should be taken into consideration:

In cases where other AAC strategies have been effective, facilitated communication training may be considered as an additional benefit. In cases where current communication strategies are ineffective and AAC strategies have not been tried, facilitated communication training may be recommended on the basis of significant and specific movement problems. It is important to note that facilitated communication training is not seen as a substitute for AAC approaches, but rather as a way of effectively and rapidly gaining access to a wider range of AAC than might otherwise be possible.

Minimally, people are considered candidates if they have no speech or their speech is limited, erratic or inconsistent; and if their ability to point independently is not consistently reliable. It is not necessary that the person demonstrate literacy skills in the assessment in order to be considered a candidate. The assessment should carefully consider what has been tried, and what has been effective. It should compare independent skills with facilitated skills and have a rationale for the need for support through facilitation by the potential candidate. It should also consider the effectiveness of other support strategies such as structuring communicative interactions, making environmental accommodations, and using routines and scripts.

If it is determined that facilitated communication training would benefit an individual, recommendations should be given through the assessment that helps develop the person's initial use of facilitated communication. Recommendations should include

If a person is thought to be a candidate for facilitated communication training, he or she should be properly assessed by an experienced facilitator who has been trained to do assessments. An assessment for the use of facilitated communication should preferably be done by a communication therapist with extensive experience in facilitated communication, or lacking that, by a para-professional trained in AAC.

7. Elements of Facilitated Communication Training

Facilitated communication is a type of Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) for people who do not speak or whose speech is highly limited and disordered, and who cannot point reliably (Biklen & Cardinal, 1997; Crossley, 1994). The method has been used by people with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, pervasive developmental disorders, and other developmental disabilities (Crossley & Remington-Gurney, 1992; Biklen, 1993; Crossley & McDonald, 1980; and Crossley, 1994).

Facilitated communication training involves developing communication skills through pointing (e.g., typing or pointing at pictures or letters) with a partner, or facilitator. The facilitator provides physical support (e.g., holding the person's wrist or forearm during pointing, providing backward resistance as the person tries to move the arm forward to point, placing a hand on the shoulder as the person points or types). This support is helpful in overcoming such movement-related difficulties as tremor, impulsivity, low muscle tone, poor eye-hand coordination, and/or difficulty in forefinger isolation (Crossley, 1994).

Facilitated communication training also involves far more than physical support. Like training in all AAC methods, it involves

Central to best practice is facilitator attention to providing quality feedback/monitoring for the facilitated communication user. Crossley (1996) has described the key elements, including these:

8. Introducing the Technique

The information learned in the assessment process is used to develop a plan for teaching skills to the communicator and for providing supports to people who would be facilitators for that person. This process of "getting started" is highly individual, but can be guided by the following considerations: For communicators who are new to the use of facilitated communication, it is vital that the getting started process be done with the involvement of an experienced facilitator. This person could work directly with the communicator in the getting started process; conversely, he or she could support others to work directly with the communicator. It is important that new and inexperienced facilitators receive training and supervision to ensure appropriate and effective use of the method, as described in Section III of this document.

Communicators who are experienced facilitated communication users often need to train new facilitators so that they can have continued access to communication. As in the situation with a new communicator, it is important that an experienced facilitator/trainer be involved in the process, providing supervision while the new facilitator is developing the skills of support.

It is imperative that a communicator have more than one person as a facilitator. Every communicator using facilitated communication should have multiple facilitators in his/her life. This means that getting started should involve more than one person as a new facilitator. It is helpful to involve people from the various aspects of that person's life, so that facilitation is not available only in a limited range of settings.

9. Independence


A primary, long-term goal of facilitated communication training is independent communication. This goal involves

The fading of physical support should begin at the outset of the training process, with both facilitators and facilitated communication users aware of the importance of this goal.

Achieving independence is a collaborative and dynamic process. It needs to be viewed within the broader context of individuals' progress towards greater self-determination in their lives. It is critical, therefore, that facilitated communication users be involved on an ongoing basis in decisions relating to the development of plans and strategies for independence. One significant factor in this involvement is the opportunity for facilitated communication users to observe, either in person or by means of videos, other facilitated communication users who have succeeded in typing independently. Facilitators need to be skilled in adjusting their levels of support depending on the content of an individual's communication, the situations those individuals are in, and their particular emotional and physical states. Some people may be able to type independently in social situations where the messages are short and routine, whereas if they are writing an academic course paper, they may need physical support to handle communication of greater complexity and quantity.

The work towards independence is a long-term process and is the result of sustained, high-quality support and training provided by skilled facilitators. It is important to recognize that progress towards independence will vary across individuals. Progress toward independence will be affected by

It is helpful to get input from AAC specialists on appropriate communication aids and devices and input from occupational and physical therapists on strategies that might assist a person in improving their hand function skills, seating or positioning.

10. Competency-based Facilitator Training

All facilitators should participate in a supervised training process so that they learn the appropriate and correct skills for supporting a person in his or her communication. Training programs for facilitated communication should give information about the background and conceptual foundation for the use of the method. In addition, programs need to address the unique needs of the individual user/candidate, develop the skills of facilitators, and give supervision to new facilitators to the point that they are able to both support a facilitated communication user in open communication and systematically fade their physical support.

All facilitators should participate in a training process which includes a combination of classroom learning and direct supervision from an experienced facilitator. This supervision should be provided in the initial stages of the facilitated communication training process and maintained over time to ensure both that facilitators are using the technique correctly, and that they continue to develop their skills as facilitators. The competencies described as beginner competencies in Section IV, "Facilitator Competencies," correspond to those which a new facilitator would be expected to master during the early stages of his or her work as a facilitator. Mastery of these competencies should be monitored and documented by an experienced facilitator.

11. Multiple Facilitators

Facilitated communication training must involve ongoing, active widening of the number of people prepared to support an individual's communication. Facilitated communication users should have access to regular training and support from a number of trained and experienced facilitators for several reasons: Facilitation with an inexperienced facilitator, or with one who has not worked previously with a particular facilitated communication user, is likely to be more challenging and frustrating than facilitation with someone with whom the facilitated communication user has an ongoing relationship. Therefore, the contact time of facilitators should be arranged so that experienced facilitators are in a position to support the development of both expertise and comfort within the new dyad. Inexperienced facilitators should not be expected to provide support beyond their skill level (e.g., in test situations).

12. Technical Assistance

Due to the dynamic nature of communication in general, and facilitated communication in particular, family members and professionals who support persons with disabilities who use facilitated communication need to stand ready to problem-solve the many issues that develop as a part of the movement from a specific communication strategy to the establishment of an over-all system of effective communication. Problem-solving includes, but is not limited to, giving a person access to communication across situations throughout the day, developing appropriate technology supports, and helping the person communicate throughout the day with whomever he or she would like.

No single discipline subsumes all of the expertise and experience needed to address these issues. Therefore, a plan for technical assistance to the facilitated communication user and his or her facilitators should be developed collaboratively by such support personnel as AAC specialists, speech and language pathologists, assistive technology specialists, occupational therapists, educational specialists, and specialists in positive behavioral supports.
 

13. Documentation

Documenting the progress of facilitated communication users and their facilitators over time is essential. This is an area that should be addressed formally within the facilitated communication user's individual support plan, as described in the following sections on "Portfolio Approach" and "Validation, Authorship and Authenticity").

McSheehan and Sonnenmeier provide one excellent framework for documenting both the skills of the facilitated communication user and the skills of his or her facilitators. Their approach is based on a collaborative view of communication (Duchan,1993; Sonnenmeier & McSheehan, 1993), which emphasizes the contributions of both participants to the communication process and the construction of messages.

The documentation process is grounded in a set of assumptions about competency, the nature of physical supports, and the purpose of documentation. It is also based on the premise that in order to understand how facilitated communication access is being used by a particular individual and facilitator, it is necessary to examine skills and supports in six areas: physical, communicative, literacy, contextual, technological skills and supports, and ongoing training and technical support. Based on clinical experience and analysis of facilitated interactions, these areas are relevant to describing the nature of facilitated interactions and for making recommendations regarding ongoing training and skill development (McSheehan & Sonnenmeier, R. FC Documentation Protocol 1994) [SEE APPENDIX I: BIBLIOGRAPHY].

    a. Portfolio Approach

A communication portfolio provides a flexible approach to documenting progress over time for both the facilitated communication user and his or her facilitators. The portfolio documents over time instances of valid communication. It is important to note that validation represents a set of skills to be learned in the process of becoming a competent, responsible communicator; it is not a test of the user's abilities. In addition to the facilitated communication user's portfolio, a portfolio of the facilitators' training, skills, and abilities should be kept, documenting each facilitator's progress through competency training. This documentation should be used to determine the facilitator's level, and which supports he or she is prepared to provide for the facilitated communication user.

For the facilitated communication user, indicators of validity to be documented could include the following:

    b. Validation, Authorship and Authenticity

If the use of more formal validity testing is pursued, careful consideration needs to be given to such factors as the types of tasks used, the familiarity and naturalness of the test environment, the experience level of the facilitator, and both the facilitator and facilitated communication user's feelings about doing the test.

Biklen and Cardinal (1997) have performed a meta-analysis of experimental studies of authorship in facilitated communication. In this analysis, they have identified 14 conditions which increase the likelihood that facilitated communication users will be able to demonstrate their authorship. Any responsible attempt at formal validation of authorship should consider the following factors:

    c. Sensitive Information

Extraordinary circumstances involving critical life decisions, sensitive information, or allegations of abuse require the use of specific validation protocols involving the use of outside, objective facilitators. A particularly useful set of guidelines for such procedures is contained in the publication of the Facilitated Communication Institute, "Severe Communication Impairment, Facilitated Communication, and Disclosures of Abuse" [see Appendix I: Resources], any administrator supervising facilitators or services being provided to individuals who use facilitated communication should be familiar with the content of these guidelines.


Section III

FRAMEWORK FOR TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE


How to use this section:

 This section outlines the process by which facilitators progress from their initial introduction to the method, through increasing levels of competence.  It describes the training, supervision and other supports to be provided to facilitators as they acquire skills and experience.

 This section can be used by:

  • administrators, as a tool in long-term planning for staff development and resource allocation;
  • program coordinators, as a framework for setting short-term goals for staff;
  • parents and advocates, as a means of identifying to agencies and school districts what resources will be needed to provide effective training for facilitators;
  • facilitated communication trainers, as a way of describing the progression and scope of training to be offered.

The goal of all programs designed to train facilitators is the same: to produce qualified, competent facilitators. How the training is done will vary given differences in environment, and availability of resources, but all models will share essential common elements:

Facilitator training is part of a broad training on disability, disability rights, inclusion, AAC, positive supports, and movement differences and accommodations.

Introductory Information: Most training begins with the delivery of introductory information by an experienced facilitated communication trainer. This can occur on a one to one basis, in small groups, or in a workshop format. It typically takes from two to eight hours, with the longer workshops taking two to three days. This is intended as an introduction to facilitated communication and is attended by people interested in becoming facilitators as well as those school or social service administrators who want to learn more about the method. This level of training may be useful in helping individual teams decide whether to explore the use of facilitated communication with a specific person. People participating at this level have gained only an overview of facilitated communication and do not have the skills necessary to be a facilitator nor to do an assessment.

Teaching Beginner Skills: This stage of training is designed to teach new facilitators basic skills in facilitation. Basic skill training is necessary as a part of exploring the use of the method with a candidate. It is also indicated when expanding the number of facilitators for an experienced facilitated communication user, or introducing new facilitators to accommodate a change in their circle of support. An essential part of this early training is simulating facilitated communication with a non-disabled communication partner so he/she can give feedback. The facilitator trainee should play the parts of both the facilitator and the facilitated communication user, so he/she can better understand the process.

Supervision: The acquisition of these skills is an ongoing process that occurs over time with initial intensive support/supervision given from an experienced facilitator. Supervision is decreased as skills/competencies are gained and the facilitator is able to demonstrate reliable, consistent skills. (See beginner level competencies.) New facilitators need time to work directly with and consult with a supervisor. The new facilitator must also have time to practice his or her skills with the facilitated communication user. The amount and length of supervision needed is dependent on 1) the prior experience of the candidate/fc user, 2) the trust and confidence that builds between the new facilitator and the candidate/fc user, and 3) allotted time to build both their relationship and skills in working together.

The new facilitator should be familiar with Best Practices (see that section) in Facilitated Communication and should develop a plan for getting started which will be carried out under supervision; this plan should include specific objectives, such as working toward open communication. Facilitators should keep two portfolios- one assessing his or her own skill development and the other recording the progress of the facilitated communication user.

A facilitator at this level is considered a beginner and should work to master those competencies as delineated in the Beginner Category on the "Facilitator Competencies" list (see Section IV).

Intermediate level - This level of training is for those facilitators who have mastered the basic level of facilitator skills. This typically refers to those facilitators who have had at least 6 months of direct work with a facilitated communication user. Intermediate level training focuses on increasing facilitator skills in the areas of independence and validation. It also may involve facilitators receiving in-depth information on selected topics related to facilitated communication.

A facilitator at this level should work to master the competencies as delineated in the Intermediate Level on the Competency list (see that section.) Supervision at this level of training can be less frequent and indirect. Support may be accomplished more through phone conferencing and email correspondence.

Advanced Level - This level of training is for experienced facilitators who have mastered the skills at the intermediate level. This typically means that they have had at least one year's experience with facilitated communication and have worked successfully with several different facilitated communication users. Facilitators at this level may be designated by their agencies/schools to serve as supervisors of others who are new facilitators. This would help to build within agencies and schools the organizational capacity to provide ongoing training and supervision for facilitated communication. These individuals are eligible to enter the trainers' program. Facilitators at this level should work to master the competencies as delineated in the Advanced Level on the Competency list (see that section).

Resource and Information Exchange: In addition to participation in various levels of facilitator skill training, facilitators should have access to up to date information on facilitated communication. This is critical to assist facilitators to build and maintain their skills. Agencies and schools, etc., should develop a library of resources and information on facilitated communication, such as

Continuing Education: In addition to participation in training on facilitated communication and resource and information exchange, facilitators should have access to ongoing support and opportunity to network with people who have extensive experience and knowledge about facilitated communication. This networking can occur in several different ways: Ongoing Technical Assistance: New facilitators and educational teams often need support for problem solving issues of implementation and program development for people who use the method. This can be provided through onsite technical assistance, either single visit or ongoing, focused on working with the issues for a specific individual or situation (e.g., IEP planning and problem solving, classroom modifications, positive supports, peer relationships/friendship development). Technical assistance should be provided by a person who has expertise with the method and understands the broader issues of disability, communication, accommodations and programming needs. This person is often a trainer or a facilitator at the advanced skill level. People who use facilitated communication as their primary means of communication have often been employed to provide their unique skills and knowledge in this capacity.

General issues: In considering the training process, the following points are helpful:



Section IV

FACILITATOR COMPETENCIES


How to use this section:
 This section lists the general competencies and specific skills which should be mastered by facilitators. The competencies are divided by subject area, and are further subdivided into beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels.

This section is designed primarily for use by:

  • facilitated communication trainers and supervisors, as a tool for developing specific training goals and monitoring their trainees’ progress; and
  • facilitators, as a way of tracking their own progress. 
 The competencies are organized into levels for the convenience of trainers, and as a way of providing markers of progress to facilitators.  In reality, all facilitators are engaged in a continuous process of skill development and  refinement, with an ongoing reassessment of what is known and what is yet to be learned.  These competencies can be used to chart a facilitator’s progress, to organize ongoing curriculum, and to structure experiences for facilitators.  They should  not be used as a means of evaluating a particular facilitator’s job performance. (A facilitator’s progress on these competencies reflects as much on the actions of the trainer and other circumstances as they do on the efforts of the facilitator.)  The information in this section is also provided in checklist form in Appendix II (Supervision Checklist).  That checklist can be kept as a running record of a particular trainee’s mastery of these competencies.

Facilitator Competencies:

History and Background

ALL LEVELS

General competency specific skills resources
1. Understands and can describe the method. 1. While observing a facilitated communication interaction in person or on videotape, can describe the types of support being provided by the facilitator. Teaching Beginner Skills training
1. Understands and can describe the development of the method. 1. Is familiar with Crossley and MacDonald's work in Australia, and with Crossley's subsequent work. Crossley 1994,

Crossley 1997,

Crossley & MacDonald 1980

2. Knows of independent discoveries of facilitated communication in various parts of the world. Biklen, 1993

Facilitator Competencies:

Neuromotor Concepts

Beginner

General competency specific skills resources
1.Understands movement differences and their relationship to facilitated communication 1. Understands the basic concept of apraxia. Biklen, 1993

Crossley, 1994

2. Understands seating and positioning issues. Crossley, 1994
3. Understands hand function issues. Crossley, 1994
4. Understands and can explain relationship between movement concerns and the utility of facilitated communication for an individual.  Donnellan and Leary , 1995

Leary and Hill, 1996

Biklen, 1993

5. Understands the concept of accommodation and recognizes the need to make changes. Donnellan and Leary , 1995
2. Understands processing issues and their relationship to facilitated communication. 1. Understands the importance of sensory integration issues for some facilitated communication users. Berger, 1993

Eventyr, 1997

Intermediate

General competency specific skills resources
1. Constantly changes accommodations when needed. 1. Recognizes when sensory processing problems break down communications. Supervision
2. Positions self in readiness/anticipation of initiation. Teaching Beginner Skills training
3. Provides activities in preparation for typing. Teaching Beginner Skills training
4. Provides additional supports with typing (e.g. wrist supports, joint compression, deep pressure). Supervision
2. Explores use of accommodations in a variety of constructs. 1. Provides physical support to play musical instruments, do art projects, perform self-care tasks, etc. Supervision

Todd (Exceptional Parent)

Advanced

General competency specific skills resources
1. Is able to teach others about accommodations. 1. Explains rationale and demonstrates applications. participation in introductory training as part of "training of trainers"
2. Explores strategies for facilitated communication user providing own accommodations. 1. Helps facilitated communication user discover and use own rhythmic movement for accessing communication device. Supervision

Networking

Facilitator Competencies:

Physical Support

Beginner

General competency specific skills resources
1. Provides minimum effective level of support. 1. Positions self, facilitated communication user, and devices so facilitator can provide good support for facilitated communication user, monitor eyes, keyboard, positioning, etc. Crossley 1994,

Schubert, 1993

Teaching Beginner Skills training

2. Provides constant backward pressure as the facilitated communication user moves hand toward keyboard. Teaching Beginner Skills training
3. Cues facilitated communication user to return to neutral position above keyboard for each letter typed. Teaching Beginner Skills training
2. Changes support as needed. 1. As facilitated communication user gains more control through the session, the facilitator decreases backward pressure and shifts point of support as appropriate. Supervision
2. Facilitator negotiates decreased support with facilitated communication user if the facilitated communication user attempts to maintain greater support than needed.. Supervision
3. Greater support provided, in conjunction with clarification strategies, when typing becomes unclear. Supervision.

Intermediate

General competency specific skills resources
1. Provides regular opportunities to practice reducing physical supports. 1. Identifies and negotiates with facilitated communication user specific schedule and appropriate materials and activities for practicing the reduction of support. Supervision
2. Debriefs practice activities with facilitated communication user and plans future practice sessions in advance. Supervision

Advanced

General competency specific skills resources
1. Explores new strategies, establishes priorities, and sets goals for reducing physical supports. 1. Develops a written plan of goals and procedures for reducing physical supports, in conjunction with the facilitated communication user, which becomes a part of the facilitated communication user's portfolio. Chadwick (handout)

Watts, 1994

Facilitator Competencies:

Behavioral Supports

Beginner

General competency specific skills resources
1. Sees behavior as communication. 1. Recognizes the contributions of both "positive" and "negative" behaviors to communication. Donnellan and Leary , 1995
2. Is able to hypothesize the intent of the behavior as seen from the facilitated communication user's perspective. 1. Is able to suggest to the fc user, for confirmation or further clarification, the possible meanings of a specific behavior. Donnellan et al., 1984

Beukelman and Mirenda, 1998

3. Attempts to differentiate between intentional and unintentional behavior. 1. Recognizes that some behavior may be non-volitional. Donnellan and Leary , 1995
2. Tracks patterns of behavior, and decides what to attend to and what to ignore. Supervision

Intermediate

General competency specific skills resources
1. Explores with the facilitated communication user communicative strategies to express intent. 1. Works out with the fc user more effective and socially acceptable means of expression in certain situations. Lovett, 1996
2. Knows when to ignore, redirect or intervene in the face of challenging behaviors or those incompatible with communication. 1. Ignores verbal behavior that is determined to be not meaningfully under the control of the fc user. Olney, 1993

Supervision

Advanced

General competency specific skills resources
1. Is able to teach others about behavioral supports and accommodations. 1. Describes strategies, models and what to do for others. Donnellan and Leary , 1995
2. Works in collaboration with facilitated communication user to support behavioral changes ; negotiates with fc user concerning incompatible behaviors. 1. Asks facilitated communication user's opinion regarding meaning of behaviors, and sets goals in collaboration with facilitated communication user. Lovett, 1996

Shevin, 2000

3. Understands functions of ancillary approaches (e.g. AIT, craniosacral therapy) in addressing behavioral issues. 1. Actively implements other supports such as sensory integration strategies. Williams, 1996

Facilitator Competencies:

Communicative Supports

Beginner

General competency specific skills resources
1. Recognizes the difference between a facilitator and a conversational partner. 1. Can support the fc user in conversations with people other than the facilitator. Supervision;

Teaching Beginner Skills training

2. Encourages conversations with partners other than the facilitator. Supervision
2. Recognizes when messages are vague or incomplete. 1. Asks clarifying questions. Crossley 1994,
3. Understands and describes various levels of message construction from highly structured to open conversation. 1. Can use the "ladder of communication" effectively. Crossley 1994,

Schubert, 1993

4. Deals with extra letters by requests for clarification rather than speculation. 1. Gives feedback about extra letters rather than ignoring them. Supervision

Intermediate

General competency specific skills resources
1. Expands complexity and types of communication. 1.Can ask various kinds of questions that draw on increasingly open communication. Crossley 1994,

Schubert, 1993

2. Supports communication beyond "expression of wants and needs". 1. Invites opinions, ideas, and sharing of feelings. Supervision,

Leary, 1992

3. Consistently uses strategies to clarify and confirm meaning of messages. 1. Asks about unclear spelling Supervision

Schubert, 1993

2. Asks if interpretation is correct. Supervision; Schubert; 

Crossley, 1996

4. Supports facilitated communication user in the development of protest strategies. 1. Demonstrates situations in which protest from the facilitated communication user would be useful. Supervision;

Crossley, 1996

2. Negotiates the use of protest strategies with the facilitated communication user. Supervision

Advanced

General competency specific skills resources
Negotiates with facilitated communication user strategies for message construction and clarification Uses feedback phrases such as "that's not clear to me," and "can you rephrase that?" Supervision;

Schubert, 1993

Negotiates with facilitated communication user strategies for regulating communication (e.g. controlling topic) Makes debriefing of interactions with the facilitated communication user and planning for greater user control of interactions a regular part of communication sessions and ongoing portfolio. Supervision;

Broderick and Hendrickson, 1999

Supports the facilitated communication user in the development of message-passing strategies Introduces message-passing as a set of skills rather than an adversarial or testing situation Supervision;

Crossley, 1997

Negotiates with facilitated communication user and implements routine for practicing and problem-solving message-passing skills Supervision;

Crossley, 1997

Facilitator Competencies:

Emotional Support

Beginner

General Competency Specific skills Resources
1. Provides encouragement. 1. Uses supportive language. Teaching Beginner Skills training
2. Expresses confidence. Teaching Beginner Skills training
2. Provides positive emotional environment for communication. 1. Respects individual's needs for personal space and other environmental needs. Supervision
2. Allows facilitated communication user time to begin, form and finish communication. Shevin, 1993
3. Values and honors the facilitated communication user's messages. 1. Provides active listening and feedback; follows through on, or acknowledges requests. Supervision
4. Demonstrates good listening skills. 1. Engages in the practices of respectful listening. Shevin, 1999,

Lovett, 1996

2. Responds to the individual, behaviorally and verbally, in a non-judgmental way. Shevin, 1999

Intermediate

General Competency Specific skills Resources
1. Develops tools for supporting the facilitated communication user's emotional balance. 1. Checks in with facilitated communication user about his or her emotional state, and how it relates to specific activities and behavioral indicators. Supervision
2. Negotiates with facilitated communication user to develop strategies for maintaining active participation, decreasing anxiety, etc. Supervision
2. Moves beyond choices to fostering decision-making and planning. 1. Develops and supports an ongoing planning process with the facilitated communication user. Supervision
2. Negotiates to support planning and decision-making with other individuals who support the facilitated communication user. Supervision
3. Supports facilitated communication user's assertiveness. 1. Encourages and supports facilitated communication user in expressing dissenting opinions, disagreeing, arguing, initiating action, etc. Supervision
4. Gives undivided attention to facilitated communication user during the communication process. 1. Structures the environment and the schedule to eliminate distractors and competing time pressures. Supervision

Advanced

General Competency Specific skills Resources
1. Displays reciprocal behavior. 1. Negotiates with facilitated communication user procedures for shared use of time, agenda-setting, etc. Shevin, 1993

Shevin, 1999

2. Develops role as ally or advocate. 1. Participates in person-centered planning, other planning and social activities as a communication ally. Shevin, 1999

Facilitator Competencies:

Monitoring and Feedback

Beginner

General Competency Specific skills Resources
1. Understand importance of monitoring eye movements. 1. Describes connection among looking at the keyboard, fc user self-monitoring, and movement toward physical independence. Biklen, 1992

Crossley 1994

2. Understands and implements strategies supporting facilitated communication user's looking at the display. Crossley 1994
3. Can describe an facilitated communication user's particular looking strategies.  Teaching Beginner Skills training; 

Supervision

2. Understands importance of providing feedback about misconstruction. 1. Displays ability to provide feedback when messages are unclear or unconventionally constructed in supportive, non-judgmental manner. Supervision
3. Recognizes relationship between body movement and ability to type. 1. Monitors for appropriate positioning at initiation of typing. Supervision
2. Monitors continuously for appropriate positioning, fatigue, etc. throughout session. Supervision
3. Recognizes movement accommodations characteristic of people with movement differences. Supervision

Intermediate and Advanced

General Competency Specific skills Resources
1. Promotes decision-making by facilitated communication user in message construction. 1. Negotiates with facilitated communication user concerning issues of clarity, conventionality, and ease of construction. Crossley 1994,

Supervision

2. Negotiates with facilitated communication user strategies for monitoring own output. 1. Describes monitoring facilitator is currently engaged in, and negotiates shift to facilitated communication user's assuming responsibility for monitoring. Supervision

Facilitator Competencies:

Documentation

Beginning

General Competency Specific skills Resources
1. Understands the importance of documenting the user's progress. 1. Identifies basic information that should be included in documentation, including examples of informal validation. Supervision

Intermediate

General Competency Specific skills Resources
1. Can identify and document progress in facilitated communication user's skill development 1. Documents appropriate examples highlighting facilitated communication user's progress. Portfolio form (FCI Staff, 1999)

Appendix 2 below

2. Provides opportunity for facilitated communication user to collaborate in documentation. Portfolio form (FCI Staff, 1999)

Appendix 2 below

Advanced

General Competency Specific skills Resources
1. Understands various approaches to establishing authorship. 1. Negotiates and implements ongoing plan for practicing and demonstrating authorship with facilitated communication user. Biklen and Cardinal, 1997

Crossley, 1997

Facilitator Competencies:

Fostering Independence

Beginner

General Competency Specific skills Resources
1. understands independence as the ultimate goal of training. 1. describes the typical progress of facilitated communication users toward independence, and the experience of individuals who have become substantially independent. Intro. Day 1;

Watts, 1994

2. Understands the relationship between neuromotor issues and the movement toward independence. 1. Describes the motor concerns for which facilitated communication is an accommodation, and the procedures for fading support for individuals experiencing those concerns. Teaching Beginner Skills training

Supervision

3. Establishes "vision for independence." 1. Converses with facilitated communication user concerning his/her independence goals, and identifies long-term objectives. Watts, 1994

Supervision

Intermediate

General Competency Specific skills Resources
1. Involves related therapies that support work toward independence. 1. Identifies appropriate ancillary therapies and consults with appropriate practitioners. Crossley 1994,

Schubert, 1993

Williams, 1996

Supervision

2. Explores changes in support with facilitated communication user. 1. Promotes facilitated communication user pulling back on own. Supervision
2. Moves from backward pressure to light touch. Supervision
1. Negotiates for, and provides regularly scheduled opportunities for practice that promotes independence. Supervision
3. Understands variety of ways of changing and fading support. 1. Experiments with alternative approaches to both provide minimal support currently needed, and continually fade support and promote facilitated communication user's control. Crossley 1994,

Supervision;

Watts, 1994

Advanced

General Competency Specific skills Resources
1. Makes a plan for working toward independence with the facilitated communication user and support team. 1. develops, monitors, evaluates effectiveness, and adjusts the plan as needed. Supervision



RESOURCES



 
 
 
How to use this section:
 This section includes three appendices:

     •    Appendix I: Bibliography
           The bibliography is designed as a reference for trainers and supervisors.  The books and articles listed in it are the primary sources referenced in Section IV (Facilitator Competencies); trainers can select readings from these resources as part of the training of facilitators, and as a way of informing others about Facilitated Communication.
 

The bibliography is not intended to be a complete list of references on facilitated communication.  For more extensive readings and video resources, see the Facilitated Communication Institute’s website:
          http://soeweb.syr.edu/thefci/
or the facilitated communication bibliography at the DEAL Communication Centre’s website: 
          http://home.vicnet.net.au/~dealccinc/Fccont.htm

     •    Appendix II: Supervision Checklist: 
           This form is used by supervisors to record a facilitator’s acquisition of the competencies listed in Section IV (Facilitator Competencies.)  It is important to use this form as a way of documenting a facilitator’s progress, and not as a means of evaluating his or her job performance.  Progress in any of these competencies is an ongoing process of a collaborative team, rather than one person’s accomplishment.

     •    Appendix III: FC User Skill-Building Profile
           This profile, originally designed as a way of charting a facilitated communication user’s development of skills over time, is used in training to determine the effectiveness of the interaction between a facilitated communication user and current facilitators.  A facilitated communication user’s skills will vary markedly depending on both the facilitator’s skills and their
shared experience.

            The FC User Skill-Building Profile is included in this document for use by facilitator trainers and supervisors in conjunction with the Supervision Checklist.  By keeping track both of a facilitator’s developing competencies over time, and the concurrent development of the facilitated communication user’s skills, the supervisor can chart their progress as a working team, and highlight areas where further attention and support are needed.  The full benefit of the profile for a facilitated communication user is realized when it is used across several facilitators. 


Appendix I

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Berger, C. L. (1993). "Facilitated Communication: As far as the eye can see!" Facilitated Communication Digest 1(3): 9-10.

Beukelman, D. R. and P. Mirenda (1998). Augmentative and alternative communication: Management of severe communication disorders in children and adults. Baltimore, MD, Paul H. Brookes.

Biklen, D. (1992). "Look at the Board!" Facilitated Communication Digest 1(1): 4.

Biklen, D. (1993). Communication unbound: How facilitated communication is challenging traditional views of autism and ability/disability. New York, Teacher's College Press.

Biklen, D. (1993). "Questions and Answers About Facilitated Communication." Facilitated Communication Digest 2(1): 10-15.

Biklen, D. and D. N. Cardinal, Eds. (1997). Contested words, contested science: Unraveling the facilitated communication controversy. Special Education Series. New York, Teacher's College Press.

Broderick, A. and C. Kasa-Hendrickson (1999). "Toward Independent Typing: The Collaborative Use of Portfolio Documentation." Facilitated Communication Digest 7(3): 2-12.

Crossley, R. and A. McDonald (1980). Annie's Coming Out. Ringwood, Victoria, Australia, Penguin.

Crossley, R. and J. Remington-Gurney (1992). "Getting the Words Out: Facilitated Communication Training." Topics in Language Disorders 12: 29-45.

Crossley, R. (1994). Facilitated Communication training. New York, Teachers College Press.

Crossley, R. (1996). " "It Takes Two to Tango": The Importance of Feedback in Communication." DEAL Newsletter(March).

Crossley, R. (1997). Speechless: Facilitating communication for people without voices. New York, Dutton.

Donnellan, A. M., P. L. Mirenda, et al. (1984). "Analyzing the Communicative Functions of Aberrant Behavior." Journal of the Association for the Severely Handicapped 9(3): 201-212.

Donnellan, A. M. and M. R. Leary (1995). Movement Differences and Diversity in Autism/Mental Retardation: Appreciating and Accomodating People with Communication and Behavior Challenges. Madison, WI, DRI Press.

Duchan, J. F. (1993). "Issues raised by facilitated communication for theorizing and research on autism." Journal of Speech and Hearing Research 36: 1108-1119.

Eventyr, K. (1997). "Sensory issues and facilitated communication." Facilitated Communication Digest 6(1): 13-15.

FCI, S. (1999). "Portfolio Data Form for Facilitators and FC Users." Facilitated Communication Digest 7(3): 15-18.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1975). Learning How to Mean: Exploration in the Development of Language. New York, Elsevier North Holland.

Leary, M. (1992). Learning to be a facilitator. Getting in touch: A workbook on becoming a facilitator. B. Barker, M. Leary, S. Repa and M. Whissell. Madison, WI, DRI Press.

Lovett, H. (1996). Learning to listen: Positive approaches and people with difficult behavior. Baltimore, MD, Paul H. Brookes.

Olney, M. (1993). "Musings of a skeptical facilitator." Facilitated Communication Digest 1(4): 8-9.

Sabin, L. (1994). "Empowering the Facilitated Communication Speaker." Facilitated Communication Digest 2(2): 6-7.

Schubert, A. (1993). Facilitated Communication Resource Guide. Boston, Adriana Foundation.

Shevin, M. (1993). "Establishing reciprocity in facilitated communication interactions." Facilitated Communication Digest 1(4): 5-7.

Shevin, M. (1999). "On being a communication ally." Facilitated Communication Digest 7(4): 2-13.

Shevin, M. (2000). Working Collaboratively with People who have Challenging Behaviors. Hamilton, NY. (Conference presentation notes, available from author: FCI, 373 Huntington Hall, Syracuse University, Syracuse NY 13244)

Sonnenmeier, R. (1993). "Co-Construction of Messages During Facilitated Communication." Facilitated communication Digest 1(2): 7-9.

Watts, G. and G. Wurtzberg (1994). Every step of the way. Syracuse NY, Syracuse University Facilitated Communication Institute.

Williams, D. (1996). Autism: An Inside-Out Approach. London, Jessica Kingsley.



Appendix III: SUPERVISION CHECKLIST

Person being supervised: Date Checklist initiated: / /
Supervisor's Name From (date) to (date) Supervisor's Name From (date) to (date)

Beginning competencies
 

History and Background
 
General competency specific skills date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated             follow-up plan 
1. Understands and can describe the development of the method 1. Is familiar with Crossley and MacDonald's work in Australia, and with Crossley's subsequent work
2. Knows of independent discoveries of FC in various parts of the world

:

Neuromotor Concepts
 
General competency specific skills date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up 
plan 
1.Understands movement differences and their relationship to FC 1. Understands basic concept of apraxia
2. Understands seating and positioning issues
3. Understands hand function issues
4. Understands and can explain relationship between movement concerns and the utility of FC for an individual 
5. Understands the concept of accommodation and recognizes the need to make changes
2. Understands processing issues and their relationship to FC 1. Understands sensory integration issues

Physical Support
 
General Competency Specific skills date 
demon
-strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Provides minimum effective level of support 1. Positions self, FC user, and devices so facilitator can provide good support for FC user, monitor eyes, keyboard, positioning, etc.
2. Provides constant backward pressure as the FC user moves hand toward keyboard
3. Cues FC user to return to neutral position above keyboard for each letter typed
2. Changes support as needed 1. As FC user gains more control through the session, the facilitator decreases backward pressure and shifts point of support as appropriate
2. Facilitator negotiates decreased support with FC user if the FC user attempts to maintain greater support than needed.
3. Greater support provided, in conjunction with clarification strategies, when typing becomes unclear.

 

Behavioral Supports
General competency specific skills date 
demon
-strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Sees behavior as communication 1. Recognizes the contributions of both positive and negative behaviors to communication.
2. Is able to hypothesize the intent of the behavior as seen from the FC user's perspective  1. Is able to suggest to the fc user, for confirmation or further clarification, the possible meanings of a specific behavior.
3. Attempts to differentiate between intentional and unintentional behavior 1. Tracks patterns of behavior, and decides what to attend to and what to ignore.

 

Communicative Supports
 
General competency specific skills date 
demon
-strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Recognizes the difference between a facilitator and a conversational partner 1. Can support the fc user in conversations with people other than the facilitator.
2. Encourages conversations with partners other than the facilitator.
2. Recognizes when messages are vague or incomplete 1. Asks clarifying questions.
3. Understands and describes various levels of message construction from highly structured to open conversation. 1. Can use the "ladder of communication" effectively.
4. Deals with extra letters be requests for clarification rather than speculation. 1. Gives feedback about extra letters rather than ignoring them.

Emotional Support
General competency specific skills date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Provides encouragement. 1. Uses supportive language.
2. Expresses confidence.
2. Provides positive emotional environment for communication. 1. Respects individual's needs for personal space and other environmental needs.
2. Allows FC user time to begin, form and finish communication.
3. Values and honors the FC user's messages. 1. Provides active listening and feedback; follows through on, or acknowledges requests.
4. Demonstrates good listening skills. 1. Engages in the practices of respectful listening.
2. Responds to the individual, behaviorally and verbally, in a non-judgmental way.

 

Monitoring and feedback
General competency specific skills date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Understands importance of monitoring eye movements. 1. Describes connection among looking at the keyboard, FC user self-monitoring, and movement toward physical independence.
2. Understands and implements strategies supporting FC user's looking at the display.
3. Can describe an FC user's particular looking strategies. 
2. Understands importance of providing feedback about misconstruction. 1. Displays ability to provide feedback when messages are unclear or unconventionally constructed in supportive, non-judgmental manner.
3. Recognizes relationship between body movement and ability to type. 1. Monitors for appropriate positioning at initiation of typing.
2. Monitors continuously for appropriate positioning, fatigue, etc. throughout session.

 

Documentation
General competency specific skills date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Understands the importance of documenting the user's progress. 1. Identifies basic information that should be included in documentation, including examples of informal validation.

 
 
 

Fostering Independence
 
General competency specific skills date demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Understands independence as the ultimate goal of training. 1. Describes the typical progress of FC users toward independence, and the experience of individuals who have become substantially independent.
2. Understands the relationship between neuromotor issues and the movement toward independence. 1. Describes the motor concerns for which FC is an accommodation, and the procedures for fading support for individuals experiencing those concerns.
3. Establishes "vision for independence." 1. Converses with FC user concerning his/her independence goals, and identifies long-term objectives.

 



Intermediate competencies

:

Neuromotor Concepts
General Competency Specific skills date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Constantly changes accommodations when needed. 1. Recognizes when sensory processing problems break down communications.
2. Positions self in readiness/anticipation of initiation.
3. Provides activities in preparation for typing.
4. Provides additional supports with typing (e.g. wrist supports, joint compression, deep pressure).
2. Explores use of accommodations in a variety of constructs. 1. Provides physical support to play musical instruments, do art projects, perform self-care tasks, etc.

 

Physical Support
 
General competency specific skills date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Provides regular opportunities to practice reducing physical supports. 1. Identifies and negotiates with FC user specific schedule and appropriate materials and activities for practicing the reduction of support.  
2. Debriefs practice activities with FC user and plans future practice sessions in advance.

 

Behavioral Supports
.General competency specific skills date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Explores with the FC user communicative strategies to express intent 1. Works out with the FC user more effective and socially acceptable means of expression in certain situations.
2. Knows when to ignore, redirect or intervene in the face of challenging behaviors or those incompatible with communication. 1. Ignores verbal behavior that is determined to be not meaningfully under the control of the FC user.

 

Communicative Supports
 
General competency specific skills date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Expands complexity and types of communication. 1. Can ask various kinds of questions that draw on increasingly open communication.
2. Supports communication beyond "expression of wants and needs." 1. Invites opinions, ideas, and sharing of feelings.
3. Consistently uses strategies to clarify and confirm meaning of messages. 1. Asks about unclear spelling.
2. Asks if interpretation is correct.
4.Ssupports FC user in the development of protest strategies. 1. Demonstrates situations in which protest from the FC user would be useful.
4. Supports FC user in the development of protest strategies.(cont'd.) 2. Negotiates the use of protest strategies with the FC user.

 

Emotional Support
General competency specific skills date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Develops tools for supporting the FC user's emotional balance. 1. Checks in with FC user about his or her emotional state, and how it relates to specific activities and behavioral indicators.
2. Negotiates with FC user to develop strategies for maintaining active participation, decreasing anxiety, etc.
2. Moves beyond choices to fostering decision-making and planning. 1. Develops and supports an ongoing planning process with the FC user.
2. Negotiates to support planning and decision-making with other individuals who support the FC user.
3. Supports FC user's assertiveness. 1. Encourages and supports FC user in expressing dissenting opinions, disagreeing, arguing, initiating action, etc.
4. Gives undivided attention to FC user during the communication process. 1. Structures the environment and the schedule to eliminate distractors and competing time pressures.

 

Monitoring and feedback
General Competency Specific skills `date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Promotes decision-making by FC user in message construction. 1. Negotiates with FC user concerning issues of clarity, conventionality, and ease of construction.
2.Negotiates with FC user strategies for monitoring own output. 1. Describes monitoring facilitator is currently engaged in, and negotiates shift to FC user's assuming responsibility for monitoring.

 

Documentation
.General Competency Specific skills date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Can identify and document progress in FC user's skill development 1. Documents appropriate examples highlighting FC user's progress.
2. Provides opportunity for FC user to collaborate in documentation.

 

Fostering Independence
 
General Competency Specific skills date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Involves related therapies that support work toward independence. 1. Identifies appropriate ancillary therapies and consults with appropriate practitioners.
2. Explores changes in support with FC user. 1. Promotes FC user pulling back on own.
2. Moves from backward pressure to light touch.
3. Negotiates for, and provides regularly scheduled opportunities for practice that promotes independence.
3. Understands variety of ways of changing and fading support 1. Experiments with alternative approaches to both provide minimal support currently needed, and continually fade support and promote FC user's control.



Advanced competencies

Neuromotor Concepts
General Competency Specific skills date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Is able to teach others about accommodations. 1. Explains rationale and demonstrates applications.
2. Explores strategies for FC user providing own accommodations. 1. Helps FC user discover and use own rhythmic movement for accessing communication device.

Physical Support
 
General Competency Specific skills date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Explores new strategies, establishes priorities, and sets goals for reducing physical supports. 1. Develops a written plan of goals and procedures for reducing physical supports, in conjunction with the FC user, which becomes a part of the FC user's portfolio.

 

Behavioral Supports
General Competency Specific skills date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Is able to teach others about behavioral supports and accommodations. 1. Describes strategies, models and what to do for others.
2. Works in collaboration with FC user to support behavioral changes; negotiates with fc user concerning incompatible behaviors. 1. Asks FC user's opinion regarding meaning of behaviors, and sets goals in collaboration with FC user.
3. Understands functions of ancillary approaches (e.g. AIT, craniosacral therapy) in addressing behavioral issues. 1. Actively implements other supports such as sensory integration strategies.

 
 
 

Communicative Supports
 
General Competency Specific skills date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Negotiates with FC user strategies for message construction and clarification. 1. Uses feedback phrases such as "that's not clear to me," and "can you rephrase that?"
2. Negotiates with FC user strategies for regulating communication (e.g. controlling topic). 1. Makes debriefing of interactions with the FC user and planning for greater FC user control of interactions a regular part of communication sessions and ongoing portfolio. 
3. Supports the FC user in the development of message-passing strategies. 1. Introduces message-passing as a set of skills rather than an adversarial or testing situation.
2. Negotiates with FC user and implements routine for practicing and problem-solving message-passing skills.

Emotional Support
General Competency Specific skills date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Displays reciprocal behavior. 1. Negotiates with FC user procedures for shared used of time, agenda-setting, etc.
2. Develops role as ally or advocate. 1. Participates in person-centered planning, other planning and social activities as a communication ally.

Documentation
General Competency Specific skills date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Understands various approaches to establishing authorship. 1. Negotiates and implements ongoing plan for practicing and demonstrating authorship with FC user.

Independence
 
General Competency Specific skills date 
demon-
strated
how evaluated  follow-up plan 
1. Makes a plan for working toward independence with the FC user and support team. 1. develops, monitors, evaluates effectiveness, and adjusts the plan as needed.


APPENDIX 2:

FC USER SKILL BUILDING PROFILE

Date ___/___/___

Facilitator's name / FC User's name______________________________ / _____________________________________________

How long have facilitator/FC User been working together?__________________________________________________________

Describe physical support provided_____________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Describe device used ________________________________________________________________________________________

Describe positioning used for FC ______________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Describe level of communication (single word, open communication, etc.) ______________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
SKILL LEVEL DESCRIPTION DATE
MASTERED
COMMENTS: (Identify significant positive or negative factors, FC user's experience with other facilitators, etc.)
ACCU-
RATE 
POINT-
ING 1
beginning 1a. Develops a consistent approach to the target
intermediate 1b. Shows increased control in selecting the target, with less support
advanced 1c. Can make adjustments in movement to the target
ACCU-
RATE 
POINT-
ING 2
beginning 2a. Consistently selects target accurately
intermediate/

advanced

2b/c. Selects single targets independently
FINGER 
ISOLA-
TION 1
beginning 1a. Develops ability to isolate index finger during movement to the target 
intermediate 1b. Consistently isolated index finger during the whole process of pointing
advanced 1c. Isolates index finger during facilitation with less support
FINGER 
ISOLA-
TION 2
all levels 2a/b/c. Isolates finger in readiness to point.
BODY 
CON-
TROL 1
beginning 1a. Shows stability through hip and trunk areas, with support
intermediate 1b. Shows stability through hip and trunk areas, with minimal support
advanced 1c. Can maintain hip and trunk stability with minimal support while using FC in various positions 
BODY 
CON-
TROL 2
beginning 2a. Can vary body position for facilitation, with support.
intermediate/ 
advanced
2b/c. Can vary body position for facilitation, with minimal or no support
HAND 
CON-
TROL 1
beginning 1a.develops stable arm/hand posture during movement, with support.
intermediate 1b. Develops stable arm/hand posture during movement, with minimal support
advanced 1c. Uses stable arm/hand posture consistently during FC, with minimal or no support
HAND 
CON-
TROL 2
beginning 2a. Develops good tone during movement, with support
intermediate 2b. Develops good tone during movement, with minimal support
advanced 2c. Uses good tone consistently during FC , with minimal or no support.
LOOK-
ING 
STRA-
TEGY 1
beginning 1a. Develops consistent strategy for looking at target, with frequent cuing or other support
intermediate/ 
advanced
1b/c. Maintains use of looking strategy without support.
LOOK-
ING 
STRA-
TEGY 2
beginning 2a. Develops use of frontal vision for looking at target, with support.
intermediate  2b. Uses frontal vision during FC with minimal support.
advanced 2c. Uses primarily frontal vision during FC, without support.
CON-
TROL OF 
MOVE-
MENT 1
beginning 1a. Develops rhythmic movement, with support.
intermediate 1b. Develops rhythmic movement, with minimal support.
advanced 1c. Is able to establish own pace.
CON-
TROL OF 
MOVE-
MENT 2
beginning 2a. Develops slow, even movement to the target with facilitator resistance.
intermediate 2b. Maintains slow even movement when support is changed to light touch.
advanced 2c. Is able to change direction during movement toward the keyboard.
CON-
TROL OF 
MOVE-
MENT 3
beginning/ 
intermediate
3a/b. Develops ability to pull away from target, with minimal support.
advanced 3c. Is able to adjust pointing (?)
MES-
SAGE 
FORM-
ULA-
TION 1
beginning 1a. Consistently uses spaces and punctuation, with support
intermediate 1b. Consistently uses spaces and punctuation without support.
advanced 1c. Adjusts message formulation to varying communication situations.
MES-
SAGE 
FORM-
ULA-
TION 2
beginning 2a. Shows ability to use a variety of expressions
intermediate/
advanced
2b/c. Develops ability to focus on communication.
MES-
SAGE 
FORM-
ULA-
TION 3
intermediate 3b. Develops strategies for word retrieval.
advanced 3c. Independently uses word retrieval strategies.
COR-
REC-
TION 
STRA-
TEGIES 1
beginning 1a. Recognizes mistakes made during facilitation.
intermediate 1b. Uses delete key, without cuing.
advanced 1c. Consistently corrects mistakes spontaneously.
COR-
REC-
TION 
STRA-
TEGIES 2
beginning 2a. Uses delete key, with cuing
intermediate 2b. Uses auditory or visual feedback from device to make necessary changes
CLARI-
FICA-
TION 
STRA-
TEGIES
beginning 1a. Responds to specific clarification questions.
intermediate 1b. Responds to open-ended requests for clarification
advanced 1c. Directs/redirects facilitator in the process of message formulation.
PRO-
TEST 
STRA-
TEGIES 1
beginning 1a. Disagrees with facilitators ideas.
intermediate 1b. Learns specific strategy in response to facilitator influence.
advanced responds spontaneously to facilitator influence.
PRO-
TEST 
STRA-
TEGIES 2
beginning 2a. Objects to specific actions of the facilitator.
MONI-
TOR-
ING 1
beginning 1a. Responds to suggestions regarding clarity of the message.
intermediate 1b. Makes changes in the message without suggestions
MONI-
TOR-
ING 2
beginning 2a. Responds to suggestions regarding the process
intermediate 2b. Monitors the message with minimal support.
advanced 2c. Adjusts the process spontaneously.
INDE-
PEN-
DENT 
POIN-
TING
beginning 1a. Uses independent pointing for a single letter, word or object.
intermediate 1b. Uses independent pointing for typing specific words.
advanced 1c. Uses independent pointing spontaneously and extensively.
MES-
SAGE 
PAS-
SING
beginning 1a. Can pass meaningful information incidentally.
intermediate 1b. Can convey accurate information in response to specific questions.
advanced 1c. Can pass information in a formal, structured, simple blind condition.
INITIA-
TION 1
beginning 1a. Shows readiness to start through facial expression, hand or body posture
intermediate 1b. Develops a variety of initiation strategies.
advanced 1c. Spontaneously uses clearly understood strategies to initiate communication.
INITIA-
TION 2
intermediate 2b. Combines facilitation with other means of expression.
advanced 2c. Consistently uses combined strategies to initiate communication.



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