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“Get rid of that pain in my neck!”

Personal Experience
  • Gregor Gilmour (Beaumont College)
  • Diana Mountain (Beaumont College)
  • Kate McCallum (Beaumont College)

Gregor Gilmour: now a young adult, I have quadraplegic dystonic athetoid CP and have been using AAC strategies since the age of 2. I began by learning switching skills using switch toys and first trialled a high-tech communication aid at age 2.5 but only in 1:1 speech therapy clinic visits. Unable to communicate, I was very frustrated as a small child. Although from the age of 2.5 to 5, I fist-pointed to a colour-coded A4 book, my handfunction was poor and the book became so large, that I needed an alternative.

Since the age of 5, I have been using Dynavox devices, which until recently I accessed via two head-switches. After using symbols for a short time, I quickly established literacy skills and began using prestored words and spelling (aged 6). After 12+ years of using two head switches (and thinking that this was it!), I have now discovered new access methods, and now use a combination. The aim of the session will be to share all the ways I was helped to find a new access method to my communication aid.


I will talk about all the different access methods I tried in order to improve my speed and how we recorded my progress. I will talk a little about getting a new wheelchair as part of this process.


I will tell you about how my speed improved from scanning to using direct access... and beyond.


Gregor: "I felt excited about trying different access methods. I want to wow you with my experiences and the opportunities that being faster has given me." Diana & Kate: "We feel having an open mind and trialling (or at least discussing) all options with Gregor had other benefits: not just improving his speed but also our understanding and knowledge. We feel this demonstrates a holistic view of a person is essential to good practice."

Level of Session 
Age Group 
All Ages