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The Instruction Through Assistive Learning and Communication (ITALC, pronounced i-talk) program provides instruction for non-verbal students with severe orthopedic impairments. We at Francis Scott Key consider our ITALC students to have a special place in our hearts. In fact, many consider them the soul of our school. Students are taught in open, well lit rooms with direct access outside to the yard. It is a wonderful supportive atmosphere. This unique program is a cutting edge model that not only benefits ITALC children, but all children in the school. All teachers, staff and children regularly interact with ITALC students in a strong culture of acceptance and empathy. 

Students in the ITALC programs:

  • receive intensive training in developing appropriate, multi-modal communication systems
  • use communication forms that are "unaided" (e.g. gestures, vocalizations, facial expressions, body movements, eye gaze) and "aided" (e.g. alphabet boards, words, pictures, symbols, light and high-tech communication devices) to interact with others and participate in classroom activities
  • use a variety of AT (assistive technology) to access curriculum during the school day
  • are mainstreamed into general education classes for varying amounts of time, based on their individual needs

Students eligible for the ITALC K-2 program must demonstrate all of the following criteria:

  1. exhibit intentional communicative behaviors
  2. initiate social interactions
  3. respond consistently to verbal input
  4. understand language represented at the single-word level
  5. cognitively understand cause and effect - attend to the AAC system and recognize it as a tool for some purpose
  6. have an established means of expressing "yes" and/or "no"
  7. make choices given at least two options

In addition to the K-2 criteria, students eligible of the 3-5 programs must demonstrate all of the following criteria:

  1. understand language represented at the multi-word level
  2. make choices given at least 3-5 options
  3. understand simple "wh-" questions
  4. categorize objects and pictures
  5. use 2- or 3- word combinations on their AAC system
  6. cognitively understand cause and effect; that use of AAC systems will affect the actions and behaviors of others
  7. make appropriate measurable gains toward achieving IEP goals and objectives, as well as demonstrating new learning of the core curriculum

Prior to exiting the ITALC program the IEP team will convene to determine the next appropriate (least restrictive) placement for the student, based on meeting all the criteria.

For more details contact the FSK office as well as district resources:

Special Education Services

phone: 415-379-7656 

fax: 415-750-8690

Assistive Technology Services

750 25th Ave., Bungalow #2 

San Francisco, CA 94121

phone: 415-379-7894

fax: 415-750-8564