Andreas Forsland, Tim Jin – What Did the Nonverbal Person Say to the Verbal Person?

In Making Waves Conversations by Mark Sylvester7 Comments

What Did the Nonverbal Person Say to the Verbal Person? Answer: Anything they want!

Cognixion's goal is to unlock speech for hundreds of millions of people worldwide affected by communication disabilities. We’ll talk with Founder and CEO Andreas Forsland and Tim Jin, a Cognixion Brainiac Council Member, exploring the world of AI-powered communication.

Andreas Forsland

CEO, Cognixion

Tim Jin

Cognixion Brainiac Council Member

Andreas Forsland is the Founder & CEO of Cognixion, a neurotechnology startup focused on accessible communication. In addition to software offering eye-tracking and facial recognition, future products explore the world of brain-computer interface and augmented reality. That’s where Tim Jin comes in. Tim was born with Cerebral Palsy and has used an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device since elementary school. A graduate from Cal State Long Beach in speech communication, he is also an active member on several boards of directors.

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  1. Wow. So amazing. My thoughts and prayers are with Tim as he continues his journey through life.

  2. Hi Tim. I’m from the very South of New Zealand, I’m 61y/o and have Athetoid CP – more sever on my left than my right side, so I’m right handed [dominant side]. I have some speech impairment but can communicate quite well with most family and friends verbally, but I use AAC on my iPad to give reports or long winded speeches, so the listeners can hear and understand me better, plus not so exhorting physically. I so admire all the work you and Andreas have invested to help our CP communities and especially our non speaking colleagues.
    It’s people like you and I to try and educate our local communities but especially our younger children, that you and I aren’t “scary” people, but just have difficulty talking/speaking, just like a blind person has difficulty seeing…
    I also have a fantastic team of carers to help and assist me, so can understand how important they mean to you – my team are like sisters/family and make my life so much easier and meaningful. I recently lost my wife [able-bodied] to a long battle with breast cancer then secondary breast cancer, my sweetheart lasted 16 years and I miss her so dreadfully, but life must go on…………
    Have an awesome life Tim and good luck finding someone very special to share your life with, you so deserve someone special my friend…
    Kia kaha from the land of the Kiwi – Mike

  3. Nonverbal doesn’t really apply to anyone anymore. Just because you cannot speak from your vocal cords, it doesn’t mean that you are nonverbal. A simple gesture like rolling your eyes shows what you are feeling and may have more emotions than crying or laughing. Communication by any form is the basic fundamental to all of us, no matter how we can get our point across.

    An infant will let you know that he or she is hungry by crying. When we go to the doctor, we often show the doctor where it hurts. This is all the basic way to communicate our needs no matter if you can vocalize or not. I know many people who cannot talk with their own natural voice. Does this mean that they are “nonverbal”? In a way they are more vocal than abled-body people because they found other ways at letting others know what they want.

    For example, you wouldn’t say to a hearing impaired person that they are nonverbal because they are using sign language to communicate. What is the difference between a person that uses AAC, are they nonverbal also? No, they are being verbal through whatever form of communication.

    1. Perhaps it is better to toss out the term non-verbal, and instead specify the means of communication instead, for example, “X communicates with a ____ device”? At least the latter description would be much more informative.

  4. One question which mark asked during the session, but which was not answered, is one on which I would like to follow up. Mark asked the following question based on Tim’s comment that the expression “nonverbal” needs to be updated. Mark asked, “If the expression nonverbal needs to be updated, then what is the appropriate current expression which should be used?” No response was provided during the session. I look forward to the answer.

  5. Author

    Walt, seems like I stirred things up with that question. Tim answered it earlier today, posted just above.

  6. Thank you Tim for sharing how your insights, hobbies, your story and how your communication system works — The power of silence as you composed your response at the end was really eye opening for me. It made me marvel at your ability to multitask and type while conversation is in progress. And after the pandemic, I still want to take you for Mexican food with our family.

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