The Communication Mentors' Network - Supporting effective communication for everyone.


(About Us - History)

The Communication Crisis

A well-known and well-documented problem plaguing a large majority of people with disabilities is the issue of decreased functional communication skills. For some, this means a general difficulty being understood by those outside of primary family members and familiar others. This leads to decreased opportunities for choice-making, relationship-building, community access, and health / safety concerns. For others, this is much more serious. . . virtually no recognized means of expressing basic wants, needs, choices, complaints, concerns, pain, or joy.

The Communication Mentors’ Course™ was born of a need to address this Communication Crisis from the inside...assisting those closest to people in need to learn what they could do to better help "hear" their existing communication; accentuate, augment, and train others regarding their communication; and gradually be available to help someone else.

Initially started in Northumberland County, PA in 2003, this Course was imagined as a way to move away from a traditional model of consultant service, to develop instead a more grassroots approach.

A nine month Course was designed with interactive instruction on many topics to purposefully target and shift attitudes about disability, teach newer ideas about abilities, and help participants become more familiar and comfortable with AT and AAC. Combined with this instruction were many opportunities and requirements for real-world supervised experiences to assist budding Communication Mentors to experience our mantras first-hand..."notice what you notice", "everyone communicates", and to find and fuel their "fire in the belly".

Over the years, The Communication Mentors’ Course™ and the Mentors themselves have seemed to really provide part of the "answer" to the Communication Crisis...and requests to hold more Courses, enter new geographic areas, join in like-minded committees and professional groups, and assist other groups to replicate our efforts have confirmed and validated our initial ideas that: