Communication Matters is a UK-wide organisation committed to supporting people of all ages who find communication difficult because they have little or no clear speech. You will find here information on methods of communication which can be used to supplement the more usual methods of speech and writing. These methods are called Augmentative and Alternative Communication, or AAC for short.
Communication Matters is also the UK Chapter of ISAAC (International Society of Augmentative and Alternative Communication), a world-wide organisation which aims to promote the best possible communication for people with complex communication needs.
CM2014 National AAC Conference, 14-16 September 2014
The Trustees of Communication Matters are looking forward to welcoming 400 delegates to the CM2014 National AAC Conference will be held again at the University of Leeds. A wide range of presentations will be given, including practical workshops and updates on the latest research and practice. A new feature this year will be poster sessions which will provide further ways for information to be shared. The supplier exhibition is integral to the conference and provides a valuable opportunity to get up to date information directly from suppliers of equipment and services.
AAC Commissioning in England
Most local health services in England will be provided by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs); however, there are a few specialised services, including 'specialist augmentative and alternative communication aids' services that will be commissioned directly by NHS England – the new organisation appointed by the Government to oversee the commissioning of all health services.
Roadshows are product demonstration days supported and presented by our Commercial Members from the UK's leading suppliers of communication aids, equipment, software and symbol systems. Each day consists of five sessions which provide information and offer up-to-date knowledge on the range of AAC products available in the UK. There is an exhibition period when delegates can try out products (there is no opportunity for hands-on during the presentation sessions).
Study Days are great ways to update your knowledge on the 'hot' topics in AAC. They are of interest to users of AAC and to professionals. Book early to avoid disappointment. Members of Communication Matters can claim a discount for each study day (except where indicated).
Join Communication Matters and Make a Difference
Become a member and work with us towards our core aims of increasing awareness about AAC improving Service Standards; encouraging Research; and lobbying government for change. Membership is open to all. People who use AAC can apply for a free sponsored membership in their first year.
AACknowledge.org.uk - Online Evidence base
Search our online, accessible AAC evidence base which brings together information and research evidence about AAC in one place, including case studies, publications, plain language summaries, factsheets, FAQs, glossary of terms and more... www.AACknowledge.org.uk
AAC Evidence Base Research
Communication Matters, along with organisations involved in the delivery of the Department for Education (DfE) funded AAC Grants Project hosted four AAC dissemination seminars across England. Communication Matters and NHS Education Scotland (NES) also hosted a joint AAC dissemination seminar in Edinburgh. These seminars aimed to inform on the following work:
- Communication Matters AAC Evidence Base Project - final report and results
- DfE funded AAC Grants Project - report and resources developed to inform on AAC commissioning arrangements in England
- A Right to Speak Project - AAC developments in Scotland
You can download the reports, resources & presentations from these seminars:
Raising AAC Awareness and Supporting us
There are many ways you can help to raise awareness of AAC and supporting the work of Communication Matters at the same time, for example by:
Campaigning, Service Delivery & National Standards
We are currently actively involved in lobbying government to ensure AAC services and equipment are supported in the new NHS reforms. The hub and spoke model of service delivery developed in response to the work for Jean Gross CBE and in consultation with all AAC stakeholders is central to this activity as are the National Standards Documents.
AAC Evidence Base Research
Communication Matters has published research reports and resources resulting from its groundbreaking AAC Evidence Base research project to gather evidence about the need and provision of AAC.
This website contains a wealth of information and resources on AAC:
- Information about AAC - how AAC can help, different types of AAC, funding and insurance
- eLibrary of downloadable material, including leaflets about AAC, past issues of the Communication Matters Journal, research and reports
- Find your nearest AAC Assessment Service
- Get details of suppliers of AAC products
- Information about funding sources, SIGS and other resources
AAC Discussion Forum & Keeping in touch