ATPF Typers Social Club was founded by ATPF Teen Otto Lana and his mother Shelly Lana. In Otto’s own words, this program “provides a safe and supportive environment to create and strengthen social connections between individuals who type to communicate and the individuals who support them."
Non-speaking and unreliably speaking individuals are oftentimes left out of the conversation. A social club allows these individuals the opportunity to hone their communication skills beyond their wants and needs and find a path to the richness of friendships and human connectedness.
The second aspect is to open speaking people’s hearts and minds to the concept of typing and to dispel the concept of autism as a social deficit. As Otto says, "We do not have a social deficit. We have a communication deficient. We have a regulation deficit. We can read the room; we just do not have a way to tell people. Typing is that bridge.”
Allies are welcome to attend these groups too! Otto’s definition of Allies: “Allies are individuals who want to learn about typing or want to learn how to support a Typer. Bobbi Hanna is a perfect example who came to an event because she wanted to learn more about typing for one of her non-speaking clients, even though she is an Occupational Therapist. I have had grandparents attend because they want to learn more...An Ally can be anyone, a therapist (not just a speech therapist), a friend, a relative, an educator, any person who believes in typing and wants to learn and support the mission of communication for all.”
Meet on Zoom with different AAC Typer friends across the country, share your favorite books, funny quotes or memes, and enjoy the feeling of community through alternative communication. All kids/teens who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices are welcome!
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