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Friday Announcements - 2 February 2018

Submitted by Manager on 2 February 2018 - 11:38am

Friday Announcements - 2nd February 2018

1. Making a Difference Conference
2. EyeFree Assisting Communication is looking for a UK Marketing Product Specialist
3. WM AAC Clinical Excellence Network
4. Support vulnerable people with communication problems
5. Liberator - AAC Regional Consultant Vacancies
6. 1Voice Events
7. Grid for iPad

News from CM:

8. AAC and Literacy Best Practice Study Days
9. CM Roadshows 2018
10. CM2018 - Call for Papers
11. Second Symbol Consultation for Communication Access UK - Deadline Extended
12. About Friday Announcements


1. Making a Difference Conference

From Muireann McCleary, Central Remedical Clinic

This is a reminder to book your place for our upcoming international conference entitled 'Making a Difference' hosted by the Central Remedial Clinic.

We are delighted to welcome a number of high profile speakers including Professor Janic Murray who will be present her NHS funded research on 'Clinical decision making in Communication Aid Recommendations' (the IASC project), Dr Martine Smith who will be presenting on 'the Becoming an Aided Communicator Project', the first longitudincal international study of children acquiring language while using AAC and Dr Mike Clarke who will share the latest findngs on his Eye Gaze Project providing insights into developmental trajectories to inform the use of eye gaze technology.

There are also a range of topical presentations in the area of FEDS including presentations on 'Management of Chronic Aspiration in Children with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities', 'Decision-Making Experiences of Adults with Cerbral Palsy and Oroparyngeal Dysphagia, 'Navigating FEDS Policy Development' and a number of others.

The early bird one day conference rate is 100 euro, with early bird closing on 9th February.

Flights to Dublin from major UK cities are available from as little as £30 return.

For the full programme or to book places go to:

Any enquiries you may have can be emailed to [email protected]


2. EyeFree Assisting Communication is looking for a UK Marketing Product Specialists

From Gali Wieneer, EyeControl:

EyeFree Assisting Communications Ltd. aims to be a leading supplier of assistive communication devices for the "locked-in" community. This community is represented by ALS and other patients who have lost their ability to communicate, but still have fully functioning cognitive abilities.

EyeFree was one of three companies chosen by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be featured in a video showcasing Israel's Top Life Changing Technologies. In June 2017, EyeFree won 1st place in the Future Tech Category at GeekTime Next, Israel's largest technology festival


  • Develop and implement a Marketing plan with EyeFree's management team and in collaboration with Distributor in the territory to meet the company's sales goals and increase market share
  • Accompany the Distributors' salespeople and deliver presentations to customers and prospects, as well as create marketing collateral.
  • Drive customer outreach and act as the point of contact for support to Distributor sales staff to ensure our products/services meet consumer needs and specifications
  • Site & potential customers visits to create leads
  • Maintain relationships with patient groups and organizations
  • Serve as EyeFree's representative for various local administrative needs
  • Give product demonstrations at trade shows and webinars, Manage training events and materials for local users
  • Build our brand by proactively developing product awareness and relationships with KOLs as needed
  • Create new, scalable partnership opportunities within hospitals and the ALS community
  • Build, manage and grow relationships with the NHS, physicians, social workers, and patients
  • A minimum of 3 years of field experience is required, preferably in assistive technology industry.

Further information and instructions on how to apply can be found here:


3. WM AAC Clinical Excellence Network

From Terri Kelly, West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre:

WM AAC Clinical Excellence Network (CEN)

14/3/18 9:30-3:30

Birmingham City University, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3TN

This CEN could be of interest to people working with/who know children, young people and adults with LD who have /might have AAC needs. The programme mixes current research, affordable low tech resources, a high tech AAC update and intervention/management methods.

There will be presentations from Manchester Metropolitan University's Identifying appropriate symbol communication aids project and ACE Centre on "Developing and Using a Communication Book" Second edition. The supplier update will be from Smartbox.

To book a place e-mail [email protected]. Membership £5 for 1 year (3 meetings), meetings free for members.


4. Support Vulnerable people with communication problems

From Clare Moser, Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists:

A fantastic opportunity has arisen to join Quality Assurance Board (QAB) for the Witness Intermediary Scheme at the Ministry of Justice.
We are looking for a speech and language therapist with alternative and augmentative communication skills and experience of working with vulnerable people with communication problems.

The person needs to be able to attend meetings four times a year but also have the capacity to support some work outside of meetings e.g. looking at complaints or looking at particular policy areas or contributing to processes such as recruitment or CPD.

If you are interested please complete the attached application form and return this to [email protected] by 19th February.


5. Liberator - AAC Regional Consultant Vacancies

From Mick Davies, Liberator:

North/South of England – Flexible Hours

For over 27 years Liberator have helped many thousands of individuals around the world to improve their lives through access to communication solutions. We provide a wide range of communication products and services for people with severely impaired or no natural speech.

We are seeking 2 new team members to join our team based in the North and South of England. These positions are ideally full-time but part-time will be considered.

These rewarding roles encompass a range of responsibilities that include developing new customer relationships, demonstrating products, providing training and delivering first-class customer support.

The successful applicants will have excellent communication/presentation skills, a high degree of confidence with technology and will be comfortable training small or large groups. Above all candidates will have empathy for clients and a desire to support them achieve their best possible communication outcomes.

The skills and experience required are:

  • An understanding of AAC and assistive technology – Previous experience of working with AAC is essential.
  • Presenting to small or large audiences.
  • The ability to work alone and as part of a team.
  • You will be highly motivated and able to demonstrate initiative.
  • A proven track record in delivering good customer service.
  • Familiarity of Windows/Android/iOS.
  • Flexible approach to working hours and comfortable with driving long distances (nights away are also possible).
  • High levels of attention to detail and good administration skills (managing calendars, report writing, updating databases following client visits) are required.
  • Excellent time management skills.

We offer a competitive salary based on experience, company car, and generous pension scheme along with other benefits.

To apply please send your CV and covering letter to Ian Thompson, Managing Director ([email protected]). The closing date for applications is 23/02/2018.

All applications are confidential.


6. 1Voice Events

From Jo Cope, 1Voice

Keep an eye on our website for details of upcoming local events –

Our first event in Kent is taking place on Saturday 4 February at ARRCC in Folkestone. Contact [email protected] to book your place.

1Voice Lakes & Bay are taking a trip to the Natland Ice Cream Parlour on Thursday 15 February. Contact [email protected] to book your place as places may be limited.

The next Warrington pop-up event is taking place on Sunday 4 March at the Warrington Play & Sensory Centre. Contact Jo at [email protected] to book your place.

There are plans for local events in the South East, East of England, North West, Yorkshire and Beds/Herts/Bucks in the coming months.

We are planning to open registrations for our National Residential Weekend at the end of next week.

The success of our local events is dependent on our network of amazing volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering at any of our events then please get in touch at [email protected].


7. Grid for iPad is here!

From Hannah Church, Smartbox

Our flagship Grid software is now available on iPad - packed with features and resources to support a wide range of communication needs.

Get started today and discover:

  • Resources for different ages and abilities
  • Research-based approach to symbol and text AAC
  • Fast and intuitive in-app editing
  • Remote editing from any Windows computer
  • Beautifully simple and intuitive design
  • Do more with Grid – new resources added every day

Included in Grid for iPad are two new communication grid sets:

Super Core

Super Core makes it easier for children to get started with AAC.

  • Consistent core vocabulary
  • Activity-specific language
  • Designed for real-life situations and play activities

Text Talker

Getting your message across is more efficient with Text Talker.

  • Word prediction
  • Chat History
  • Quick phrases
  • Conversation switching
  • Message banking feature

Grid for iPad has flexible pricing, with subscription (£9.99 per month) and one time purchase (£349.99) options available.

Our subscription app has a 30 day free trial and can be cancelled at any time.

Find out more about Grid for iPad
Download Grid for iPad – subscription
Download Grid for iPad – single purchase

8. AAC and Literacy Best Practice Study Days

The second in a series of AAC and Literacy based days. This day will meet the needs of children in both special and mainstream schools and be suitable for both professionals and family members.

The day will include the following:

  • Special interest talks on issues that relate directly to the challenges faced in delivering literacy to students who use AAC and the challenges students face in acquiring those skills.
  • Table top workshops with hands on experience of resources currently available to support the teaching of literacy to AAC users
  • Exhibition from suppliers of products directly related to AAC and literacy.

Costs: £65 members, £75 non-members and £40 for family members

Friday 27th April
ACE Centre (North Office)
Hollinwood Business Centre, Albert Street
Oldham, OL8 3QL

Furhter information and a link to the booking form can be found on our website:


9. CM Roadshows 2018

We have confirmed the dates for our 2018 roadshows. There will be a total of 9 roadshows this year as follows:

  • Sheffield - Wed 14 Mar
  • Nottingham - Thu 15 Mar
  • Plymouth - Wed 18 Apr
  • Bristol - Thu 19 Apr
  • Glasgow: - Tue 22 May
  • Newcastle - Wed 23 May
  • Chester - Wed 6 Jun
  • Oldham - Thu 7 Jun
  • London - Wed 21 Nov

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

  1. Read more about Roadshows
  2. Request a place on a Roadshow


10. CM2018 - Call for Papers

You are invited to contribute to the Communication Matters CM 2018 International AAC Conference (9-11 September, Leeds)

This year we will again be using an online submission programme.

We have based our topic areas on the three aspects of evidence based practice which constituted 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 AAC users.
  • 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 either as a platform presentation or a poster. We particularly welcome contributions from AAC users and family members.

The deadline for submission is 27 April 2018.

Further information can be on our website by following:

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the opportunity, please call us on 0113 343 1533 or email [email protected]


11. Second Symbol Consultation for Communication - Deadline Extended

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:

Please note that deadline for responses has been extended and is now 28 February - don't miss out on the chance to have your say!

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.