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Friday Announcements - 12th January 2018

Submitted by office on 1 December 2017 - 9:20am

Friday Announcements - 12th January 2018

1. Postgraduate Certificate Assistive Technology at Ace Centre
2. SCORE Seminar - A new Core based vocabulary
3. There is still time to make a nomination for the Shine A Light Awards 2018.
4. Upcoming 2 day introductory PODD (Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display) communication system course
5. New Inclusive Catalogue 2018
6. 1Voice East of England Launch Event Saturday 13th January
7. Power Pad is here
8. Free Core Words, AAC & Pathways Days - New Locations Added
9. Scottish Government Electoral Reform Consultation on democratic participation

News from CM:
10. AAC users language change
11. Second Symbol Consultation for Communication Access UK
12. About Friday Announcements

1. Postgraduate Certificate Assistive Technology at Ace Centre

From Sara Dale, Ace Centre:

Applications are now being accepted for our Postgraduate Certificate Assistive Technology (PGCAT). This award aims to develop reflective and skilled practitioners in the field of Assistive Technology and Augmentative & Alternative Communication able to adopt an evidence-informed approach to best meet the needs of individuals with complex communication, physical and learning difficulties. This blended learning course is a Level 7 award validated by Manchester Metropolitan University. Participants complete two 30 credit units, which combine taught days at Ace Centre (North) and students independent study. The award consists of two units:

Year 1 Assistive Technology to support communication and learning (30 credits)
Year 2 Augmentative and Alternative Communication (30 credits)
Cost: £2000
Entry requirements apply.

For more information or to request an application form, please contact Sara Dale, email: [email protected] tel: 0161 358 0151 ext 203

2. SCORE Seminar - A new Core based vocabulary

From Jake Rourke, Techcess Ltd:

SCORE is a successful symbol based strategy that can be used at a very early stage to develop and increase language development.

SCORE consists of a set of low tech communication boards, an extended communication binder and a comprehensive communication page set for Mind Express. The most frequently used core words are consistently organised in a static frame around a dynamic block of fringe words. This clever setup gives the user access to core vocabulary at any time. Grammar functions are dynamically presented, based on the part of speech, and can be used to build grammatically correct messages. Learners and their communication partners use and practice with a set of selected focus words for a number of weeks, receptively as well as expressively, and in different contexts. The idea is that if the child language development is facilitated and therefore improves, then the child's communication skills will automatically follow. The availability of both low-tech and high-tech resources allows a multi model approach and support modelling variation.

The seminar will be hosted by Bart Noe, Judy King & Gillian Rumble.

To register your interest, please visit

3. There is still time to make a nomination for the Shine A Light Awards 2018.

From Anna Reeves, Ace Centre:

Last year Gregor Gilmour, a Communication Matters Member from Bury was awarded the Young Person of the Year Award, for his sheer determination at improving his own life chances as well as others across his region. Ingfield Manor School, which has always had strong links with CM, won the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Award with highly commended certificates for both Pace, Aylesbury and 1Voice – Communicating Together.

There are just over two weeks left for you to place your nomination – closing date 23rd January 2018

4. Upcoming 2 day introductory PODD (Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display) communication system course

From Rosie Clark, Woodlands School:

Upcoming 2 day introductory PODD (Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display) communication system course:

13th and 14th February 2018 at Dysart School, Surbiton, - contact: [email protected] for more information.

5. New Inclusive Catalogue 2018

From Duncan Rhodes, Inclusive:

New Inclusive Catalogue 2018 is now available. Download or request a copy to read about the latest iPad Accessories & Apps, Eye Gaze Technology, Sensory Products, Communication Devices, Switch Access and more. To get your copy click the link

6. 1Voice East of England Launch Event Saturday 13th January

From Jo Cope, 1Voice:

A reminder that the 1Voice East of England launch event takes place tomorrow (Saturday 13th January) from 1-5pm. There will be lots of opportunities for interaction with others communicating with AAC, an optional inclusive dance session and a parents' workshop with cake! New and existing members welcome.

The event is taking place at Grantham Meres Leisure Centre, Trent Road, Grantham, NG31 7XQ.

Contact Philippa Blackbourn on 07867796083 or Saffron Murphy Mann on 07841144193 with any queries.

Visit our website at for details of our events.

7. Power Pad is here

From Hannah Church, Smartbox:

We have some exciting news to share from Smartbox HQ this week!

Power Pad is here and it's our most powerful device yet, packed with features to help users communicate and connect with the world around them.

✔ Integrated EyeTech eye gaze technology
✔ 7th generation Intel i5 core Skylake processor
✔ 8GB RAM, and a reliable solid-state hard drive
✔ 15 hours battery life (9 hours with eye gaze)
✔ Hot-swappable battery (for an extra 6 hours eye gaze)
✔ 13.3" HD touchscreen display
✔ High quality amplified sound
✔ Built-in Environment Control
✔ Fully compatible with all methods of alternative access
✔ Knock safe, labelled ports
✔ Multi-angle stand and wheelchair mounting
✔ Powered by Grid 3

Find out more about Power Pad at

Book a visit to try Power Pad at

Many of these features were influenced by research participated in by members of Communication Matters, so thank you to everyone who took part back in 2016.

8. Free Core Words, AAC & Pathway Days - **New Locations Added**

From Tina Voizey, Tobii Dynavox:

Tobii Dynavox would like to invite you to a free day of learning about and getting hands on with our new AAC software, Snap + Core First and the 'ecosystem' that we have created around it. Pathways is at the centre of the support system developed for both the person using AAC as well as their communication partners. We will also highlight resources such as Core First Learning and Boardmaker.

Bethany Diener, SLT, Implementation Manager Tobii Dynavox US and chief architect of Pathways and Core First will present these days.

Lunch will be provided and all who attend will be given a Tobii Dynavox for Professionals account with full and free access to all our AAC software including Snap + Core First, Communicator 5 and Compass.


  • 19th Feb – Huntingdon
  • 20th Feb- Abingdon
  • 27th Feb – Ashford
  • 28th Feb – Mansfield
  • 2nd Mar- Wrexham
  • 6th Mar – Oldham**
  • 8th Mar – Middlesbrough
  • 13th Mar – London
  • 20th Mar – Glasgow**
  • 22nd Mar- Leicester
  • 27th Mar – Bristol**
  • 24th April – Newcastle
  • 27th April- Crawley**
  • 1st May – Winchester
  • 10th May – Ipswich
  • Still more dates to come!!

For more information, to see the agenda and to sign up:

9. Scottish Government Electoral Reform consultation on democratic participation

From Jean Alexander, Scottish Government:

The Scottish Government is conducting a consultation on electoral reform to ensure access to democratic participation for all citizens. It would be great if as many AAC users as possible could make their responses.

Please find the link to the Electoral Reform Consultation which closes on 12 March 2018 here:

10. AAC language change

Communication Matters is moving towards no longer be using the acronym PWUAAC (people who use AAC) but will now refer to AAC users. This is in line of the social model of disability as well as being preferred by many AAC users themselves. We are aware of course that AAC users can use whichever term they prefer.

11. Second Symbol Consultation for Communication Access UK

From Catherine Harris, CAUK:

In early 2017 we asked people, including those affected by communication difficulties for their opinions. We had over 3000 responses! We found out that:

  • people with communication difficulties don't always get the support they need in the community
  • people would like a Communication Access symbol in the UK

We asked people to choose an idea for a symbol to represent communication access. There were 2 ideas that were the most popular. Tell us what you like and what you don't like about these ideas in the survey below:

If you have any other ideas or comments please tell us!

12. About Friday Announcements

These 'Friday Announcements' comprise weekly product updates, upcoming courses and supplier news.
Please email [email protected] the item you want to be included by Thursday 5pm - no more than 200 words (one entry per organisation per week) - and include contact email and/or link so readers can find out further information - no file attachments please. Communication Matters will review, collate and post suitable submissions.