Frequently Asked Questions
What is Facilitated Communication Training?
Facilitated Communication Training is a strategy within the methods of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) whereby a person, often referred to as a ‘facilitator,’ provides a system of supports in order to enable more effective pointing to targets for communication. The system of supports includes physical touch as well as communicative and emotional support. The long term goal for use of the method is the highest degree of independence possible for that individual.
Who can become a member?
There are two membership levels: General membership and membership to become a Coach, Trainer or Master Trainer. Anyone who is involved in or supportive of the use of FCT can become a general member. Those who are interested in becoming a coach, trainer or master trainer must first become a general member as a facilitator and then make application to enter the training program.
What are the steps to becoming a Coach or Trainer?
The first step is to become a member as a facilitator. This means that you need to be actively involved in using the method with an individual. Ideally you have the experience of working with more than one individual. You then need to apply to the training program, specifying your intention to be either a coach or a trainer. There is a separate application fee for the entering the training program. You do not have to be a coach before you work to become a trainer. However, many of the skills of the trainer are those of the coach. You can begin with developing your skills as a coach and as a second stage, work toward becoming a trainer. The level of master trainer is available only to those who have achieved the skills as a trainer.
How is it different from other AAC methods?
Traditional AAC works with an independent means of access, and sometimes individuals require additional supports in order to organize their motor systems. Facilitated Communication is a strategy that looks to provide the least amount of organizational support needed for effective communication, build communication, and fade the needed supports. This is different for each individual. So FC uses AAC but adds an additional element.
Do all people who use FCT spell to communicate?
No. The purpose of using FCT is to promote more effective motor planning and interrupt motor planning difficulties that make it difficult for a person to express their ideas. This can be achieved in a number of ways, including pointing to objects, photographs, pictures and whole words. Both ‘low tech’ and ‘high tech’ equipment are used in applying the method.