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Friday Announcements - 21st April 2017

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

Friday Announcements - 21st April 2017

1. Smartbox Grid 3 Expert training dates announced
2. Liberator Ltd - New ‎AAC Awareness Days announced for 2017
3. Talking Mats - A Visual Framework Enabling Children, Young People & Adults to Share their Thoughts, Views & Opinions
4. 0.8 Teacher for Kent and Medway Communication & Assistive Technology (KM CAT) Service
5. Technology Support Worker in AAC
6. New Amplify Support Group on Facebook

News from CM:
7. Call for Abstracts - CM2017 AAC Conference - 1 WEEK TO GO!
8. AssistiveWare supporting families to attend CM2017 Conference
9. A symbol for communication access? Complete the survey!
10. CM2017 National AAC Conference - Registration Now Open!
11. Communication Matters Roadshows 2017
12. About Friday Announcements

1. Smartbox Grid 3 Expert training dates announced

From Hannah Craven, Smartbox Ltd:

Our Grid 3 Expert days are back by popular demand, and this time we'll be running them in two new locations – Edinburgh and Guildford. These intensive training days are perfect if you want to learn more about Grid 3 and it's use for AAC.

For just £50 we'll take you through everything you need to know to effectively use Grid 3 - from initial set up and orientation to advanced editing and customisation.

You'll also walk away with 6 hours CPD and a full copy of Grid 3 when you complete our training - so you can keep refining your skills, creating resources and exploring different ways to use the software with your clients.

Find out more and book your place here

2. Liberator Ltd - New ‎AAC Awareness Days announced for 2017

From Mick Davies, Liberator Ltd:

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all that attended the AAC Awareness Day in Devon on the 18th April 2017 and we hope you found the day informative.

If you would like to learn more about AAC Implementation Strategies, ‪Assistivetech, ‪LAMP Therapy approach, vocabulary options and access methods inc. ‪eyegaze and headpointing!

16th May - Birmingham
18th Oct - Hull

Book your FREE place today by visiting

If you would like to host an AAC Awareness Day in your school/organisation/service then please contact [email protected] for more information.

3. Talking Mats - A Visual Framework Enabling Children, Young People & Adults to Share their Thoughts, Views & Opinions

From Laura Holmes, Talking Mats Ltd:

Talking Mats North West Training Day
People's History Museum, Manchester
Thursday 22/06/17

For further information about this approach and who can benefit from it, please see

To apply please email [email protected] or complete the booking form on this link:

4. 0.8 Teacher for Kent and Medway Communication & Assistive Technology (KM CAT) Service

From Becky Guntrip, Kent and Medway CAT Service:

We are looking for a dynamic, experienced teacher to join our team of education and health professionals for four days a week, throughout the year. You will be working collaboratively within the multidisciplinary team to promote the use of technology to support the communication and educational needs of children and young people with complex verbal and physical communication difficulties.

Interested applicants are encouraged to visit our website to find out about the service, at:

Applicants can also phone or email for further details about this post, or to arrange an informal visit. Please phone 01233 629859, or email [email protected]. Please apply for this post through the "" website.

Post commences: 01 September 2017
Application close date: 01 May 2017 at 23:59pm
Interview date: 18 May 2017

5. Technology Support worker in AAC

From Helen Paterson, Compass Electronic Assistive Technology Service:

We have a vacancy for an Assistive Technology Support Worker with Compass AAC hub. Please see the details below and pass on to anyone you think may be interested - we are a very friendly team!:

6. New Amplify Support Group on Facebook

We welcome new member Asemah Samad who has set up her own Facebook support group called Amplify for those who use amplification and/or AAC to support their communication.

She is running this independently as a supportive environment for people to interact and welcomes new members!

Go to to join.

7. Call for Abstracts - CM2017 AAC Conference - 1 WEEK TO GO

From Ruth McMorran (On behalf of Abstracts Committee), Communication Matters:

Following the success of the 2016 conference we have again based our topic areas on the three aspects of evidence based practice, which constitute improved outcomes for all. These are Best Research Evidence, Clinical and Professional Experience and Personal Stories and Preferences.

Papers can be submitted as either a platform presentation or a poster, and we particularly welcome contributions from people who use AAC and family members. Each abstract has a word limit of 300 words. It's important that you use the whole of your word allocation. It is this text that will be included in the conference programme and will be used by delegates when deciding which sessions to attend. If you have already submitted an abstract but not used all your words you can go back and edit your paper to provide more information.

Last year, for the first time, we used the Ex Ordo online submission programme. This proved very successful. This is a really easy process; please do not be put off when the first screen says "Ex Ordo for Academics". You complete your abstract online, you are not required to download a form. You are able to submit your abstract and then go back and edit at a later date. Those people who have already submitted their abstracts report that they've found the step by step process very straightforward, however if you have any problems there is a help button that answers frequently asked questions or you can contact Emily Campbell on 0845 456 8211 or [email protected].

The closing date for submissions is midnight (BST) on 28th April 2017. The Abstracts Review Committee will meet on Tuesday 9th May and need to have the opportunity to read all the abstracts before the review day. This means there can be NO extension to the submission deadline.

We're looking forward to reading your abstracts!

8. AssistiveWare supporting families to attend CM2017 Conference

AssistiveWare is launching a new sponsorship programme ahead of the 2017 Communication Matters Conference.

The team at AssistiveWare are keen to support families at the beginning of their AAC journey by funding a place at CM2017 for one family member (so either a mother, father, sibling, grandparent, etc.) of a young (pre-school or primary school age) AAC user from up to three different families. Please note that this person must be a member of Communication Matters and live in the UK in order to qualify and if successful, they would not be able to bring the child to the conference with them (as the age limit for a residential place at conference is 18+).

Please send your nominations (up to 200 words), including details of why the family should be offered a place and where they are on their AAC journey, to [email protected] by Monday 1st May.

9. A symbol for communication access? Complete the survey!

DEADLINE: Friday 28th April.

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. Please share your views!

The survey can also be downloaded as a hard copy. If you would like more information, please contact us: [email protected].

You can keep up to date with the project here:

10. 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.

Please note: Young people of secondary-school age are welcome to attend the conference during the day, but there is no accommodation for anyone under 18 on-site, however we can help arrange off-site accommodation, so please contact the office.

11. 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:

  • Glasgow - Tue 9 May
  • Dublin - Wed 7 Jun
  • Belfast - Thu 8 Jun
  • Ipswich - Wed 21 Jun
  • 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:

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 every Friday.