This paper deals with the development of Talkabout AAC, a new online forum for AAC users, which address two separate needs: the need of AAC users to have a network to share information and experiences, and the increasing need for service providers to be able to engage with service users in the AAC community. The latter is especially pertinent with the new national commissioning arrangements for specialised AAC services.
The AAC forum is a collaborative work by ACE Centre, Communication Matters and 1Voice, with technical expertise provided by Beaumont College. The work has been done in consultation with AAC users through a Steering Group and through face to face consultation with AAC users and families at a 1Voice event.
This paper's aim is to share the experiences of the project and the findings of the initial pilot phase which takes place between May and September 2014, including technical aspects and user feedback.
The presentation of this paper will include the barriers and pitfalls experienced during the whole process, some conclusions about the success of the first phase of the project, and expectations on the long-term development of the forum and its sustainability.