Chris Klein is a voice to those that have none and helping hand to those with disabilities, even though he was born with cerebral palsy and uses augmentative communication to help him interact with the rest of the world. Chris used his first augmentative communication device when he was 6 years old. This allowed him to be mainstreamed starting in third grade, and opened doors that nobody thought were achievable.
Chris is a graduate of Hope College and has studied at Western Theological Seminary. This has allowed him to speak at churches, conferences, retreats, and schools. Chris travels all around the country sharing his story, and his unique perspective of how God uses his weakness to shine God’s light. Chris has been published in Christianity Today. This has led him to start writing Lessons from the Big Toe. It is his faith journey and provides unique insights regarding God, people, and the importance of community. It challenges the reader to see these concepts from a different perspective and examine these in their walks of faith.
Over the past four years, Chris has been working closely with people that use AAC. He has recently been elected president of USSAAC (United States Society of Augmentative Alternative Communication). He has realized that the AAC community has a real need for a mentor program, and this has led him to form an organization called BeCOME AAC. It stands for Building Connections with Others through Mentoring and Education about AAC. BeCOME AAC is committed to assisting persons with speech disabilities live in fulfilling way. BeCOME: AAC believes that the cornerstone to a full life is derived from the ability to participate in meaningful relationships with others and engage in everyday social interactions a fully ratified participant. In order to address this primary objective, BeCOME AAC is focused on providing tools and services to people with and without speech disabilities in order to enable and enhance communication leading to social integration. Specifically, BeCOME AAC will develop and distribute educational materials and provide mentoring services to persons with speech disabilities. This has opened new opportunities for Chris to present at different assistive technology conferences and universities across the country. He has been to Spain, Portugal, and is going to Toronto this summer to speak at the International Society of Augmentative Alternative Communication conference.