Welcome to Wellspring Guild. Whether you are a communicator, a family member, a friend or a professional that connects with this work, we want you to feel a part of this community. We may see each other at trainings or conferences. Some of us have formed our own networks to meet the specific needs of the communicator in our lives. We hope that though Wellspring Guild, we can capture all of this great energy to benefit communicators across the country.
If you haven’t yet become a member, please consider it now. What you see on this website is just an inkling of what is offered once you become a member. Members have access to the member network, online seminars hosted by master trainers and other leaders in the method, opportunity for communicators to be a part of a speaker’s bureau, and various training opportunities for facilitators, coaches, and trainers. All members are invited to participate in whatever way you want and can. Make Wellspring Guild a vibrant and supportive community!
When people get involved in the method of Facilitated Communication Training, they are not thinking about being a coach or trainer. They are absorbed in learning the skills of a facilitator; they look to others as coaches and trainers to build these skills. Some do not have to look far; others have to travel quite a distance for training. An increase in trainers across this country would help solve the inconsistent availability of training. Online training and forums that help people through the getting started and skill building processes would also support families to have more successful outcomes. Becoming a coach or trainer, or developing skills as a facilitator – this is what is available to members.
Why would you think of becoming a coach or trainer? There are many reasons, but here are two. Communicators need a solid circle of support and that usually means several facilitators giving access to communication across various environments. People often come and go in a communicator’s life; training new facilitators is therefore a consistent need. The requirement to become a coach or a trainer begins with being a facilitator. Only members who are facilitators can make application to become a coach or trainer. Details on the application process are at the membership level. As you consider the needs of your communicator, or the communicators you work with, please think about how you might serve them through the role of trainer.
Since we launched Wellspring Guild in July, 2016, we have gathered a great start-up group of members, issued a survey to identify and prioritize member needs and developed requirements for the coach and trainer programs. The launch of this website is the completion of a ‘first step.’ More importantly, it is the beginning a very important ‘next step.’ We hope that you will be a part of it.
Marilyn Chadwick MA CCC-SLP
President of the Board
Marilyn A. Chadwick
Director of Communication Services, REACH
Darlene Hanson has her Masters of Arts in Communication Disorders from Whittier College in California. She is currently the Director of Communication Services with the non-profit REACH, in Southern California. Darlene works with individuals, their support teams, and their families to build communication. Her professional experiences have included work in the public schools and private practice. As a speech and language pathologist Darlene conducts assessments in the areas of speech, language, and augmentative communication. She has been working with individuals with severe communication impairments since her under graduate program at Chapman College (1980). Darlene has included Facilitated Communication Training in her assessments and practice since 1991. Over the course of the years she has taught at Chapman University, presented at local, state and national conferences, and conducted training on Autism, Augmentative Communication strategies, and Facilitated Communication Training throughout the United States. Through REACH, formerly known as WAPADH, Darlene has been instrumental in organizing multiple national conferences on Facilitated Communication known as the “West Coast Symposium….” She is also one of a group of Master Trainers for Facilitated Communication Training, and assisted with the writing of the Best Practice Standards for Facilitated Communication Training distributed through the Institute for Communication and Inclusion of Syracuse University. Darlene has co-authored research and articles on communication for those with severe communication impairments, and is a co-author of Investigation of Authorship in Facilitated Communication, (Journal of Mental Retardation, Aug. 1996).
Marilyn A. Chadwick
Marilyn Chadwick has her Masters in Speech/Language Pathology from Eastern Michigan University. She has worked extensively with families, school districts and service agencies supporting the communication needs of children and adults with severe disabilities. Marilyn is considered a leader in understanding Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) strategies. She has provided training on Facilitated Communication across the United States, as well as Canada, Israel, Sri Lanka, Brazil, and Europe. As the Assistant Director of the Facilitated Communication Institute (1992-2010), she has contributed to the development of numerous videos and training materials, organized conferences, and helped develop the FCT standards and master trainer curriculum. She is currently in private practice, based out of Syracuse, New York.
Educational & Communication Specialist, Howard Center
Pascal Cheng has a M. Ed. and C.A.S. in Special Education from the University of Vermont and has worked for over 30 years with children and adults with developmental disabilities in school and community settings.
He currently works for the Howard Center in Burlington, Vermont as an educational and communication specialist, providing training and consultation in the areas of augmentative/alternative communication, assistive technology and literacy for children and adults with developmental disabilities. He has specific expertise in facilitated communication, an augmentative/alternative communication method for individuals with limited speech. As part of a national network of Master Trainers in Facilitated Communication, he works as a consultant to schools and agencies and regularly participates as a trainer in local, regional and national workshops and conferences.
Former CEO/Chief Inclusion Officer, Veridian Credit Union
Jean, a Cedar Falls, Iowa native, graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with an Accounting Degree and earned her Certified Public Accountant designation. Jean joined Veridian Credit Union in April 1982 as Controller and was promoted to Vice President of Finance in June 1984. Jean became CEO/Chief Inclusion Officer of Veridian Credit Union in 1990 and remained in that position until May of 2015, when she recalibrated to begin working with her son, Nate.
Jean currently serves at Inclusion Connection, a not for profit organization with the goal of promoting inclusive communities that live, learn, work and play together.
Harvey F. Lavoy, III
Director of Communication Training Resource, CDS
Harvey F. Lavoy, III has worked for Community Developmental Services (CDS), a Division of Washington County Mental Health Services in Montpelier, Vermont since 1994. He has a B.S. in Special Education and has worked in the field of Human Services since 1973.
He currently is the Director of Communication Training and Resources at CDS and provides education, training and technical assistance to adults and children with complex communication needs as well as their families, support staff, educational teams, schools and agencies. He has been a member of the Vermont Statewide Communication Task Force since 2000 providing statewide training’s, workshops, and conferences to enable adults in Vermont with developmental disabilities to communicate, make social connections, and participate in community life more fully.
He is a member of a National network of Master Facilitated Communication Trainers. He received a Certificate of Recognition as a Master Trainer in Facilitated Communication in 2006 from the Institute on Communication and Inclusion (ICI), School of Education, Syracuse University. Harvey has worked with the ICI on Introductory, Trainer-the-Trainer, Summer Institutes, and Skill Building trainings over the last several years.
Advocate / Blogger
Tracy Thresher is a native Vermonter who lives and works in Vermont. Tracy began using Facilitated Communication in 1990 and was one of the first individuals with autism in Vermont to be introduced to it. He has presented at local, statewide and national workshops and conferences. He has consulted with local schools and also mentors high school students, is a member of the Vermont Autism Advisory & Planning Committee, the Vermont Communication Task Force, the WCMHS Communication Alliance and does freelance work for Green Mountain Self-Advocates and works with the Institute on Communication and Inclusion at Syracuse University as a Master Trainer. Tracy, and his friend Larry, travel promoting their documentary “Wretches Jabberers” in an effort to change the World’s view of disability to one of positivity.