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Our Holistic Approach to Communication Support

Since our inception as an organization, Networks has been committed to assisting people with disabilities to voice their preferences, choices, hopes, and dreams. Through our varied activities and projects, we then help people to bring these dreams into reality through changes in their work, social, and living situations in order to increase power and control in their lives. Over the past several years, this work has grown naturally to include assisting people with limited or unrecognized functional communication methods to not only find their voice figuratively, but also very practically.

Through this work, we have dedicated ourselves to an individualized total communication approach with each person. We work systematically with each person and their supporters to develop a plan that includes goals and practical steps to reach the highest level of literacy and independence possible for full expression in all settings of the person's life.

While the person with the communication difference is our primary focus, we fully embrace a team approach to providing support to all of the involved people in the person's life. We recognize that the need to assist these supporters is sometimes as great as the person's need for support. This means helping the person to identify their key supporters and then training them to better assist the person not only with their communication system(s) but also with general support and teaching strategies. This may be needed even more than helping the person find and use effective communication systems.

Throughout, we try to make clear our time-limited status in the person's life and strive to help the person build a true and lasting natural support network to help them move on, not just with their communication, but also with their life. We then provide ongoing assistance, as needed, to support the person and her / his team to stretch toward the achievement of greater independence in all aspects of life.

Finding a way to communicate only
opens the possibility of life...
the next steps are sometimes much trickier.

What We Offer / Services Available

  • Both group and individualized training in today's trends and options in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC),

  • Direct assistance to people who currently have communication systems to upgrade their current systems, technology, and support strategies for more effective, efficient, and independent communication,

  • Opportunities for people with limited or unrecognized functional communication methods to explore possible communication systems and strategies to be expressive or more fully expressive,

  • Training to teams around a specific person's issues, strategies for support, and use of their technology and systems,

  • Assistance to individuals to work on specific goals for increasing their independence in communication through blending communication systems, increasing skills and competencies, and helping to build opportunities to use their systems more fully in everyday life,

  • Assistance to teams in finding ways to make communication a more common and natural part of the person's life, increasing choice, and opportunities for community involvement,

  • A gradual fading of our role to allow for more natural support from the person's team and community to embed and sustain their communication system(s) within their life.

In Summary

"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: that all people have a means of communication which allows their fullest participation in the wider world; that people can communicate using their chosen method and that their communication is heeded by others." (TASH, 1994)

To request Technical Assistance, click here Training and Technical Assistance Request Form or call Rosa McAllister at 610-935-6627 or 1-866-683-3651.



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123 South Broad Street, 23rd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19109-1029 Phone: 215.546.4111 Fax: 215.731.0965
The Commons at Valley Forge, 1220 Valley Forge Road, Box 987, Unit #17, Valley Forge, PA 19482
Phone: 610.935.6624 Fax: 610.935.6497
Toll-free: 1.866.683.3651