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Tweeting at last! My slow journey towards independent access to social media

Personal Experience
  • Jemima Hughes
  • Janet Mayes

I will describe how I developed computer access on my VOCA, explain how I use social media, and say why it is important. We will consider why it took so long and what support is needed.


I will explain how I learned to use a computer, what problems I experienced, and my excitement at acquiring a VOCA with full computer functionality. I will describe my difficulties regarding switch access to the internet, how these were eventually resolved, and how my access has since improved. I now use social media and the internet to stay connected to the world, develop my interests and do more things independently.


Despite good support with AAC at school and college, it took several years to find the information and support needed for me to access social media independently.


Young people using AAC who require alternative computer access should be supported not just with basic communication and school work, but also in communicating through social media like other teenagers. This requires holistic support from integrated teams which include parents. Social media is a good way for AAC users to communicate and feel connected to the world.

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