Facilitated Communication and Advocacy


You are fed up! You've thrown up your hands! You've had it up to here! Enough is enough! Or, maybe you just want a little direction, and experienced ear to bounce things off of. We can certainly help you. We have a unique, non-abrasive way to help you untangle the tangles, straighten out the messes, set the confusions straight, and find firm direction. Being blind ourselves, we have lived through the troubles, and we have learned to straighten them out in a way that can strengthen rather than further damage your relationship with your service agency. How do we do this?

We have developed a process called "Facilitated Communication." It is not advocacy in the traditional sense, though we do represent you and support your interests. We must remember that advocates have no legal authority to compel the service agency to do anything. Although advocates can be effective, the traditional advocacy approach often antagonizes the service agency by opposition, aggression, and argument - often worsening the situation. It's a waste of time to argue the same points over and over. We can usually break that negative cycle. We find that disagreements usually result from three factors:

1. Lack of understanding among both consumers and service administrators of the specific legal regulations and standards of best professional practice. Being blind educators and experienced in the intricacies of service programming and delivery, we know the law, we know best practice, and we know how these two should fit together. Often, a gentle dialog with administrators about how these processes should work can clear the way for more productive discussion.

2. Uncertainty about what will best serve the blind student. Often parents or students know that something's not right with their program, but they can't quite put their finger on what's wrong, or how to fix it. They often feel trapped and frustrated, and often do not know their options. Our experienced staff can help you sort out the issues so that you can frame and articulate your concerns clearly and effectively. This gives you solid ground from which to act, and makes you easier to hear and understand.

3. Lack of communication between consumers and service administrators. We will meet with both sides to help clarify concerns, issues, and misunderstandings. Difficulties in resolution very often arise simply from a lack of understanding between the two parties. We can help you smooth out these misunderstandings.

Talk to us for free. If we can't help you, we'll try to refer you to services that can, and we charge nothing until you decide that we can help.