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AAC Study Days

Study days explore a single aspect of AAC and provide a great learning opportunity.

2017 Study Days

AAC & Literacy Best Practice Study Day - 28th April 2017

The first of a series of 3 literacy & AAC (/SLCN) days is planned for Friday April 28th (9.30am-4.30pm). 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. 

BookingDownload flyer & booking form. THIS DAY IS FULL - NO MORE BOOKINGS THANK YOU

Aim: The aim is to share knowledge and experience between the mainstream and specialist sector with a view to improving the literacy learning of students who have complex communication needs, particularly those who rely on AAC. While the focus is on students who rely on AAC, there is an overlap with a much wider cohort of students who have SLCN (Speech Language and Communication Needs) who can benefit from similar input.  Whilst research into the literacy needs of the target group of students is essential, these days aim to focus on the practical reality of the classroom bringing together the experience of practitioners who are moving literacy teaching forward and the aspirations of families who believe that there is more to be achieved. Ultimately if would be ideal if the study days an lead to contributions to the development of a policy document that is at the moment out to tender from the Dept of Education.  The Communication Trust is coordinating a bid including stakeholders with good knowledge of AAC. It will be exciting to discuss this bid at one of the meetings and see where contributions can be made. (Contract commences in April 2017 for one year).  They will require case stories and evidence of good practice.


9.00 Registration / Introduction

9.30 to 10.30 Keynote: 
Rebecca Loza from Read Write Inc. will talk about the literacy work that they are carrying out in several special schools, adapting a mainstream scheme to fit AAC at different stages.

10.30 Break and a chance to look at resources

11.00 Parallel Sessions Parents:
 Chantal Bryan is parent of Jonathan who is ten years old and due to transfer to mainstream secondary school next year. He started school in a PMLD class before Chantal decided on some home schooling & taught him literacy. He now attends his local mainstream primary school. Chantal will talk about his journey to literacy.
– Jules Whicher Will talk about the literacy work she has carried out with her son who has clinical Angelman Syndrome. With reference to the Four Blocks model, Jules will share what's in her literacy toolkit and will show the importance of a comprehensive communication system to support literacy.

11.30 Parallel Sessions Teachers:
 Laura Baggley is an advisory teacher from Cornwall and will talk about how access to mainstream schools has been managed for AAC users in her area and the focus on literacy support.
– Hester Mackay is a teacher from the AAC Hub in Kent who will present a case study on a student in mainstream secondary school who has struggled to acquire literacy skills. The case study will look at both the alternative literacy teaching strategies which have been trialled as well as the ways in which the student has been supported to access her GCSE literature exam.

12.00 Parallel Supplier sessions: Choose a supplier to visit and hear about their literacy resources: presenters are Liberator / Tobii Dynavox

12.30 Lunch & Exhibition

1.45 Parallel Supplier sessions: Choose a supplier to visit and hear about their literacy resources: presenters are Ability World / Smartbox

2.15 Marion Stanton and Adam Lenartowicz: My AAC literacy journey to A-levels

3.05 Break out into workshops

  1. Literacy instruction for students who are labelled PMLD or SLD
  2. Ways forward for better collaboration between mainstream and alternative provision
  3. Fitting literacy into the school day (including integration into the wider curriculum)
  4. Assessing the literacy needs of students who have communication difficulties.

3.55 Plenary: Feedback and discussion from workshops (10 minutes each) - Setting up a literacy working group and agreeing on a first meeting

4.15 Feedback forms & CLOSE

Venue: The Clare Charity Centre, Wycombe Road, Saunderton, Buckinghamshire, HP14 4BF - (near motorways, Free Parking & train station 3 minutes away on Chiltern line between Birmingham & Marylebone)

Costs: £65 members, £75 non-members and £40 family members/carers.

Booking: Download flyer & booking form. THIS DAY IS FULL - NO MORE BOOKINGS THANK YOU

Recent Study Days

Communication in ASD: AAC, Research & Practice Study Day - 20 April 2016

Held at The Lift, London and led by Dr Elaine Clark, Darryl Morgan, Helen Robinson & Dr Greg Pasco (representatives from health, education and research). This study day looked at the use of augmentative communication devices and systems with people with autism.

AAC, Literacy and Complex Needs Study Day - 1 April 2016

Held at Birkbeck College, London and led by Jane Farrall and Sally Clendon. This workshop covered the rationale and principles underlying a balanced comprehensive approach to literacy instruction for all students. 

Symbolisation Towards Literacy Study Day - 15 June 2015

Held at Manchester Metropolitan University and led by Janice Murray (MMU) and Martine Smith (Trinity College Dublin). Explored the relationship between symbol communication and the development of literacy.