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Communication Access UK

The Communication Access UK (CAUK) project aims to increase communication accessibility in businesses and organisations throughout the UK.

Update March 2017:

March was a busy month of training and delivering information workshops as well as beginning to evaluate the first responses to the symbol consultation.

The survey is still live so please do take part if you have not done so already! DEADLINE EXTENDED due to popular demand to Friday 28th April.

8th - Workshop in Leeds to train mystery customers
We now have 3 AAC users trained (and one pending) to be co-presenters of the workshops to businesses. They all have now completed mystery customer visits and have taken part in the pilot training workshops at Leeds University.

9th & 21st - Pilot training at University of Leeds
We trained 80 staff in 4 workshops of 20 each. We had representatives from the hospitality, administration and security teams and the feedback has been very positive with a high percentage reporting how valuable it was to meet and communicate with someone who uses AAC. The university are now keen to organise further workshops to include other frontline staff.

22nd - Beaumont College, Lancaster
Cathy Harris facilitated a workshop for 6 representatives from the student union to introduce the project and to encourage participation in the symbol consultation. This was well received with lots of comments and ideas from the students and the support team.

23rd - Percy Hedley College, Newcastle
A meeting with 15+ staff from Percy Hedley and others from employment services was encouraging as we seek to link this project to existing structures. This was followed by a training workshop about CAUK and to introduce the mystery customer role to 8 AAC users with their support staff. It was good to be able to trial the revised mystery customer questionnaire.

During April the focus will be on the evaluation of the survey results. The next meeting of the steering group is on April 18th at RCSLT.
Please contact us if you would like to work with us to facilitate a workshop for your school, college, service or team by emailing [email protected].

Update February 2017:

Access Project Survey Released!

Consultation to select a UK symbol for Communication Access -

For more information and to download a hard copy -

Deadline exended due to popular demand! We now please need your feedback by Friday 28th April.


Visits to date to explain about the project, encourage participation in consultation and begin to identify mystery customers to be involved:

31st January - Star College, Cheltenham
1st February - Gloucester Royal Hospital SLT Dept
6th February - Treloar College, Alton Hampshire

Planned for March:
8th - Workshop in Leeds to train mystery customers
9th & 21st - Pilot training at University of Leeds
22nd - Beaumont College, Lancaster
23rd - Percy Hedley College, Newcastle

Update January 2017:

We are pleased to confirm that we have appointed Catherine Harris who was successful in her application for the Project Co-ordinator role for the Communication Access UK project and she has now started work as of January 2017. 

The business training pilot will move forward and a more accessible version of the symbol survey that went out at the CM2016 Conference, will be circulated online soon. The possible symbols could be:

CAUK Potential Symbols

There was a meeting with the University of Leeds team on 16th January and they are excited to be the first business involved and eager to begin staff training.

Update December 2016:

Communication Matters is working on the Communication Access project in partnership with the RCSLT and the Stroke Association.

Following the Stakeholders day on 10th June there have now been several meetings of the Steering group at which Toby Hewson and Cathy Harris have represented CM. The aim of this group is to move the project forward with involvement from the widest possible range of stakeholders to ensure that the project has maximum impact and sustainability.

The consultation phase has proved to be an interesting and useful exercise in terms of getting other organisations on board. The consultation was initially based on the Adelphi model where a 70% consensus is reached. The consultation included information on the choice of symbol, and statements on vision, minimum standards and training.

The pilot of the consultation was presented at the CM conference. Hard copies were given to all delegates. Based on feedback from this, the consultation has been revised and the aim is to launch it as widely as possible as a survey monkey in the New Year with the option of a hard copy download.

The Scope Aus symbol has been included in the consultation with the permission of Scope who are still very keen to work closely with us.

Interviews for the project worker took place in November. The project worker is due to start in post from January 2017. The project worker will have a key role within the steering group.

Leeds University are very positive about being the pilot site for training which will involve people with communication difficulties who may use AAC taking part. A mystery customer role is also key to the project.

This continues to be a very exciting opportunity for CM. In meeting all our aims, it gives a clear focus for bid writing and is an initiative which enables us to engage with other stakeholders who share our passion for communication and AAC. It enables us to engage with and involve young adults in transition from education to adult services. It has the potential of reaching those outside these areas and having a positive impact on businesses and organisations.

We are keen to involve those who have been involved with similar local projects to share knowledge and expertise as we move forward.

Please do contact us if you would like to be involved by emailing [email protected]