Facilitated Communication Summer Institute to focus on ‘Communication through the Arts’
Facilitated Communication Summer Institute to focus on ‘Communication through the Arts’July 09, 2007Patrick Farrellpmfarrel@syr.edu
The 2007 edition of the Facilitated Communication Summer Institute, sponsored by Syracuse University’s Facilitated Communication Institute (FCI), will take place July 16-19 on the SU campus. The Summer Institute is open to the public, but registration is required.
Titled “Communication through the Arts,” this year’s institute will focus on the use of creative activity to enhance learning and community building. The title acknowledges that communication involves more than just speaking: The use of visual art, movement, music and writing/typing enable many people to express their thoughts, feelings and dreams more effectively than they can by speech.
The distinguishing feature of this year’s conference is the central role played by people with disabilities. In addition to the many presenters with disabilities who have been active in the fight for communication and disability rights, the program includes researchers, leading practitioners, writers, artists, and family and friends of people with disabilities. In a departure from traditional conference practice, participants in this year’s institute will be encouraged to develop their own preferred means of expression through typing and the arts.
Summer Institute 2007 also will include demonstrations of several specialized communication devices acquired through an $8,000 grant secured last fall by state Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-50th SD). The devices are used by students and families participating in the FCI’s Saturday Clinic Program, which provides ongoing support to families in Central New York in the areas of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and facilitated communication (FC).
Summer Institute 2007 features presentations by nationally known experts in augmentative, alternative and facilitated communication, including Ralph Savarese, Jenn Seybert and Tracy Thresher, Darlene Hanson, Sue and Rita Rubin, and Rosemary Crossley.
The institute also will offer 17 workshops on topics ranging from abstract wire sculpture and orchestral drumming to dance and poetry. Many of the presenters and workshop leaders are from the Central New York area, including Jamie Burke (keynote speaker), Seybert (advocacy), Cheli Paetow and Hesham Khater (friendship), Corrie Burdick and Kate Hanford (art), Nicole Siniscarco (drumming), Lorraine Kreimeyer (art), Daniel Roche (writing), Christy Ashby (education), Marilyn Chadwick (movement) and Mayer Shevin (communication).
This year’s institute also encompasses two special events: a book signing and a grand finale celebration. The book signing will take place Wednesday, July 18, from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Schine Student Center’s Panasci Lounge. Authors Douglas Biklen, Sue Rubin, Burke, Savarese, Crossley, Sharon Rosenbloom, Lincoln Grigsby, Suzi Tortora and Thomas Page will be on hand to meet with attendees while autographing books.
The grand finale, to take place from 3:30-4:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 19, in the Schine Student Center, will be a celebration of dance, music, art and poetry/writing, as well as an opportunity for all participants to share what the conference meant to them.
On-site registration for the conference will take place July 16 from 8-9 a.m. in the Schine Student Center. For details about registration and pre-registration, and for additional information about the 2007 Summer Institute, call (315) 443-9657 or visit http://suedweb.syr.edu…FCI_Summer_2007.htm.