Date of Award

Spring 2022

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts


Social Innovation


Dr. Rachel Newcomb

Committee Member

Dr. Matthew Nichter & Dr. Anne Stone

Committee Member

Professor Josephine Balzac


Communication is a basic human right and the lack of access to communication for non-speaking students is a civil rights issue. Autism affects 1% of the world’s population across all racial and socioeconomic groups. Approximately 40% of autistics, 31 million people, are unable to speak. Without communication, non-speaking children are labeled “low functioning” and not educated. COMMUNICATION 4 ALL is my social innovation to ensure every child has a means to fully communicate in school. Informed by the Civil Rights and Disability Rights Movements, my thesis analyzes the current dynamics in non-speaking autism including the economic cost, communication methods, educational and cultural approaches, obstacles, legislation, litigation, evidence, and arguments. The Action Plan, including a new nonprofit, website, album release, launch event, and social media plan, is a blueprint for my advocacy work to gain communication for all non-speaking students in the United States.

Rights Holder

Elizabeth M. Bonker

Available for download on Saturday, May 03, 2025