You are here

Friday Announcements - 24th February 2017

Submitted by office on 17 February 2017 - 9:06am

Friday Announcements - 17th February 2017

1. CAUK Symbol Survey Released
2. AAC SIG in Oxford

Lots of news from us this week!

3. Oxford & Oldham AAC Roadshows FREE on 8/9 March
4. CM2017 National AAC Conference - Registration Now Open!
5. Mentorship project launched in Manchester
6. Call for Nominations for The Alan Martin Award 2017
7. Call for Papers - CM2017 AAC Conference
8. Communication Matters Roadshows 2017
9. AAC & Literacy Best Practice Study Day
10. About Friday Announcements

1. CAUK Symbol Survey Released

From Catherine Harris, CAUK:

Consultation to select a UK symbol for Communication Access
Over the past year, the Stroke Association, Communication Matters and the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists have been working with others towards the potential launch of a communication access symbol for the UK. A meeting for stakeholders in June 2016 brought together representatives from a wide range of organisations and professions. Discussions have included international partners and work with other sectors such as visual impairment.

We have tried to make the survey as accessible as possible but recognise that some people may need additional support to help them complete it. Please use whatever method is appropriate such as supported conversation, symbol support or a 'talking mats' framework.

A hyperlink to the consultation survey is:
The survey can also be downloaded as a hard copy.
We would be grateful for your feedback by 31st March 2017.

This is an exciting project which we feel will have a significant impact in the UK. We hope you will want to be part of the consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.

If you would like more information, please contact us: [email protected]

2. AAC SIG in Oxford

From Julie Atkinson, Membership Secretary, AAC SIG (Oxford):

I am delighted to invite you to become a member of the AAC SIG (Oxford) for 2017 at the still bargain cost of £20 for free attendance at all 3 SIG meetings with sandwich (or gluten free) lunch included or £15 per SIG day!

Our meetings this year are all in Oxford on Friday 31st March, Friday 9th June and Friday 10th November

The topic for Friday 31st March is "Are you sitting comfortably?"

Presentations include:

  • Seating and Positioning Basics
    Michelle Watson (OT, Vista Therapy) & Patricia Terrer-Perez (OT, Royal Free Hospital/OT 4 Schools)
  • Mounting Matters
    Claire Hayward, OT, Access to Communication & Technology, Birmingham
  • Ask an OT: Discussion panel
  • Communicating every way: communication book and technology solutions
    Helen Whittle (SLT, Manchester Metropolitan University) & Sarah Tucker (SLT Facilitator for SEN & AAC, Northamptonshire)
  • Parallel pathways for language and access
    Julie Atkinson, SLT, and Lisa Price OT, Access to Communication & Technology, Birmingham

Please contact Julie Atkinson for further information: [email protected] or 0121 466 3059

We look forward to seeing you at our SIG meetings in 2017

3. Oxford & Oldham AAC Roadshows FREE on 8/9 March

Still some places remaining! At Oxford on 8th March & Oldham on 9th March Book online now!
Go to:

4. CM2017 National AAC Conference - Registration Now Open!

The Communication Matters CM2017 National AAC Conference (10-12 September) will be held again this year at the University of Leeds. Integral to the conference is the supplier exhibition and a diverse programme of plenaries, presentations and posters. Residential accommodation will be in modern student residences, which is at the centre of the pedestrianised campus. The transport links to Leeds are very good, with a nearby airport and train station. Keynote speakers are to be announced.

You can see prices of registration now here - and you can book online on this link too. Book early to take advantage of the Early Bird discount!

If you would like to apply for a subsidised place, please contact the office on [email protected] to check availability before booking your place.

5. Mentorship project launched in Manchester

A mentorship project has been launched in the Manchester area with funding from Awards for All (Big Lottery Fund).

Communication Matters is working with Verity Elliott at Creativity in Practice Ltd and recruiting up to 6 young people who use AAC to receive accredited training in supporting younger or more inexperienced AAC users.

We hope to role out this project in other regions in the future.

6. Call for Nominations for The Alan Martin Award 2017

Presented annually at the Communication Matters Conference for significant contribution to the Arts by someone who uses AAC.

So far the award has been presented to poetry, drama, photography and animation. What Art form will the award go to in 2017?

To read more on the background to the award and see previous winners go to:

Please send your nominations to the office by post or email at [email protected] with a short explanation of the reason why you think this person would be an ideal recipient of the Alan Martin Award. Please attach an example of their work if possible. The award will be judged by the Trustees (& hopefully 1Voice Trustees as happened last year). A short-list of 3 will be drawn up and the final decision will be announced at the conference on Tuesday afternoon plenary and awarded by the last year's winner.


  • The person must be 18 or over.
  • The person may be amateur, be in arts education or gain income from their Art.
  • Any form of creative output can be considered.
  • The person should not have received the Alan Martin Award before (in the last 5 years).
  • Closing date September 1st

7. Call for Papers - CM2017 AAC Conference

You are invited to submit an abstract for the Communication Matters 2017 National AAC Conference. The closing date for submissions is 28th April 2017.

Again this year we are using an online submission program – click here to access the system and submit your abstract(link is external). Alternatively, if you are unable to access the system, please email us at [email protected] or call us on 0845 456 8211.

We have based our topic areas on the three aspects of evidence based practice, which constitute improved outcomes for all. These aspects are:

  • Best Research Evidence - Papers submitted under this heading are carried out by independent organisations such as education, social or health services and universities. Authors should pay particular attention to describing the methodology and results of the study.
  • Clinical and Professional Experience - Papers submitted under this heading may include service development, audit or implementation projects, as well as practice reports. Typically, these papers will be presented by health or education professionals or those working for other organisations for people who use AAC.
  • Personal Stories and Preferences - Papers submitted under this heading would include personal experience stories, single case studies and examples of AAC in the wider community.

Papers can be submitted as either a platform presentation or a poster. We particularly welcome contributions from people who use AAC and family members.

If you are unsure and want to talk about the opportunity, please call us on 0845 456 8211 or email [email protected]

We look forward to receiving your abstract submission by the closing date of 28 April 2017.

More information on submitting an abstract
Link to abstract guidelines website
Link to poster requirements website

8. Communication Matters Roadshows 2017

Find out about exciting new products from a variety of suppliers. Don't forget they are free to attend but you must book a place. The roadshows now booking are:

  • Oxford - Wed 8 Mar
  • Oldham - Thu 9 Mar
  • Glasgow - Tue 9 May
  • Dublin - Wed 7 Jun
  • Belfast - Thu 8 Jun
  • Ipswich - Wed 21 Jun

Booking soon:

  • Brighton - Thu 22 Jun
  • Cardiff - Wed 22 Nov
  • Ashford - Wed 29 Nov

To find out which suppliers are attending and to book, visit our website by clicking on the links below:

9. AAC & Literacy Best Practice Days

NEW DETAILS HAVE BEEN ADDED TO THE PROGRAMME for the first of a series of literacy & AAC (/SLCN) days on Friday April 28th. The days will address the needs of children in special school and mainstream school & kickstart a special interest group with subsequent days planned. The days will be suitable for professionals and family members. Keynotes include a multidisciplinary team from Lincolnshire presenting with the young person who has benefitted through good practice in her school years. We are also hoping to have a representative from the Communiction Trust partnership that is the recipient of a DofE grant to investigate best practice in AAC & Literacy.

10. 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 every Friday.