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Living With My Extended Shadow

Personal Experience
  • Beth Moulam
  • Sarah Howden

The aim of the session is to share the personal experience of an AAC user who has 24 hour personal assistance, and to look at how people with communication impairments need to work together with their staff to reach a collaborative relationship where both people strive to achieve the best outcomes for the AAC user.


Looking at the personal experience of the AAC user and one of her team of personal assistants, to reflect from both perspectives on the relationship from recruitment through to ongoing training and general life.


This process has enabled each party to discover what were the best strategies of working together in harmony, what worked well, and what didn't work so that these can be addressed in the future.


Reflection has led to regular team reviews, ongoing training and team meetings. The essential element has been adapting how we interview and hire new staff to ensure what we have learnt from the last year to make it a more effective process for all concerned.

Level of Session 
Age Group 
All Ages
Secondary school
Special school
Further/Higher Ed.