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Communication Difficulties and Talking Mats: Advantages and disadvantages of an online training course

  • Joan Murphy (Talking Mats Ltd)
  • Anne Reid (Talking Mats Ltd)
Funding / Sponsorship: 
Talking Mats Ltd is a social enterprise company.

This presentation will outline the design of an online AAC training course which has been supported by NHS Education Scotland. We will illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of the training, with examples from course participants.


The course runs over twelve weeks and comprises four modules which provide participants with:

  • increased understanding of communication and communication difficulties
  • knowledge of how to include people with communication difficulties in interactions
  • understanding of the principles of the Talking Mats framework
  • ability to use Talking Mats within their work setting.


Overall this model of training has been very successful. We have reached participants from a range of backgrounds and a variety of geographical locations. Participants have said that the content and quality of the course was interesting, varied and thought provoking. They also commented that it offered them an opportunity within their work situation to put the learning from the course straight into practice and helped them to communicate better with their patients.


Access to quality training can be problematic for many people. This format enables people to fit their learning into their own personal circumstances and the design of a web-based course can take account of different learning styles.

Level of Session 
Age Group 
All Ages