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Friday Announcements - 12 July 2019

Submitted by Manager on 24 May 2019 - 10:38am


1. Vacancy at the Bristol Communication Aid Service (BCAS)
2. What Next? A user led event for AAC users who have left School and College
3. Smartbox Simple AAC Workshops for Schools
4. Irisbond Duo Eye Tracker
5. Vacancy for Personal Assistant in Halifax, West Yorkshire
6. Free Online Resources

News from CM:
7. Call for Nominations for Trustees
8. CM2019 International AAC Conference - Register Now
9. Communication Matters AAC Awards 2019 - Send Us Your Nominations!
10. About Friday Announcements

1. Vacancy at the Bristol Communication Aid Service (BCAS)

From Vicky Styles, Bristol Communication Aid Service:

Bristol Communication Aid Service (BCAS) is looking for a suitably qualified Clinical Technologist to join their multi professional team delivering specialist communication aid assessments to people across the South West Region.

We are looking for someone who has experience of working with adults and/or children in the field of AAC. The post will involve clinical work as well as leading the equipment management team within BCAS.

This post is a substantive role with funding for 37.5 hours per week at a Band 6 AFC grade. Training and support will be provided and the successful candidate will work alongside members of our experienced team.

BCAS is located within Bristol Centre for Enablement situated at Cribb's Causeway just off the M5 on the outskirts of Bristol. The centre also houses the environmental control service and wheelchair service to which there are close links with both services.

For more information please contact Vicky Styles on 0117 414 5850 or email

Closing date for applications: 18th July 2019.

NHS Jobs reference: 339-HAN0549-B.

2. What Next? A user led event for AAC users who have left School and College

From Helen Whittle, Manchester Metropolitan University:

Come and find out how to have a great holiday and travel successfully with Personal Assistants, get involved in Mentoring or volunteering and explore the Exhibition to do with Holidays and mentoring/volunteering.

There are up to 20 free places for individuals who use AAC and one Personal Assistant. Refreshments and lunch will be provided. To allow delegates to attend from across the country a number of overnight rooms are available at a subsidised rate. Places will be available on a first come first served basis.

Venue: Seashell Trust, Stanley Road, Cheadle Hulme, Heald Green, Cheshire, SK8 6RQ.

The event is being held on Monday 29th July 2019. Follow this link to book a place.

Any queries please email:

3. Smartbox Simple AAC Workshops for Schools

From Hannah Craven, Smartbox Ltd:

Our Simple AAC workshops are available to all schools in the UK supporting young people learning to communicate using AAC.

These workshops are free of charge and are designed for anyone who works with young people with complex communication needs. Whether your school has an experienced AAC team or is getting started with AAC across the school for the first time, this training session will give families and staff the tools to help learners reach their potential.

Book your workshop here.

4. Irisbond Duo Eye Tracker

From Duncan Rhodes, Inclusive Technology Ltd:

Get students of any ability engaged and participating in class with the Irisbond Duo Eye Tracker. This device will follow your gaze on the screen to enable you to move a cursor, and by just blinking or focusing on one area, you will be able to control the computer. Find out more here.

5. Vacancy for Personal Assistant in Halifax, West Yorkshire

From Nadia Clarke, NC PA Team:

Are you looking for a fun and interesting job where you will learn sign language and Augmentative Alternative Communication? Ideal role for SLT Student or someone wishing to develop more skills around AAC.

We are looking for a new person to join our team of Personal Assistants in Halifax, West Yorkshire.


Will be part of a team of Personal Assistants
Will need to be an excellent communicator
Work in a person centred, inclusive and supportive way
Will assist me to try new opportunities and help with my volunteering work, organize my calendar, book gigs and support me to attend conferences, events and training courses
Help plan trips out and trips away
Assist me with living independently whilst being in the family home
Attend our own courses such as First Aid, Manual Handling, Postural Care
Varied hours during the week to fit in with my rota
Wages negotiable depending on experience
Possibility to live-in role
Will help me with all aspects of personal care
We need committed, hard working, fun and outgoing people
Desirable if you drive

For more information please email your CV to

Deadline mid August 2019.

6. Free Online Resources

By Emily Gabrielle, Liberator Ltd:

As you begin to think about the new school year, don't forget we have a wealth of free, downloadable resources available on our website including our popular 'Teaching Core Words Across the Day' resource and our fabulous 'AAC Bootcamp' - a must-have for any classroom wall where AAC is being used!

Each resource also comes with a top-tip on how to get the most out of the resource – perfect for those planning for September!

Visit this link to see the full range.

7. Call for Nominations for Trustees - 3 Weeks to go!

The time has come again to request nominations for Trustees for the next term in the life of Communication Matters. This is a role which demands stamina, commitment and skill mixing but which can be very stimulating and enlightening!

This year there are four vacant places to be filled and the opportunity of appointing a further three Co-opted Trustees as appropriate. Announcement of voted Trustees will take place at the Annual Meeting on Sunday 8 September 2019 at the University of Leeds, during the Communication Matters International AAC Conference.

For more information and to download a nomination form go to:

Completed nomination forms must reach us by Friday 26th July.

8. CM2019 International AAC Conference - Register Now

The Communication Matters 2019 International AAC Conference (8-10 September) will be held again this year at the University of Leeds. Integral to the conference is the supplier exhibition and a diverse programme of plenaries, presentations and posters. *New for 2019 is the opportunity to see one session of Lightning Talks!*

Residential accommodation will be in modern student residences, which is at the centre of the pedestrianised campus. The transport links to Leeds are very good, with a nearby airport and train station.

You can see prices of registration here - and you can book online on this link too. Book early to take advantage of the Early Bird discount which expires on 19 July!

Keynote Speakers: CM is thrilled to announce Professor Karen Erickson will deliver the keynote address. Karen is the Director of the Centre for Literacy and Disability Studies at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her current research addresses literacy and communication for students with significant disabilities, including complex communication needs. If you work in this field you'll definitely want to hear Karen's presentation! Winner of the 2018 Alan Martin Award, 'The Shouting Mute', a performance poet and artist, is presenting the plenary address where AAC users will also have the opportunity to take part in his poetry workshop!

Theme: Don't be disappointed that Strictly Come Dancing is finished for another year, CM is pleased to announce that the theme for CM2019 Conference will be "Strictly AAC" - an opportunity to present or attend sessions that are strictly about AAC with the chance to bring out all your glitz & glamour for the conference dinner and disco.

9. Communication Matters AAC Awards 2019 - Send Us Your Nominations!

Calling all AAC users, their families and friends, teachers, teaching assistants, therapists, clinical scientists, suppliers of AAC products and anyone interested in supporting the world of AAC... Come and join us for an evening of celebration and recognition at our first AAC Awards evening for everything AAC!

Hosted by Communication Matters at the University of Leeds on Friday 11th October 2019 from 6pm until late featuring awards, champagne reception, dinner, entertainment, and dancing...

Could you be recognised for brilliant skills in art, drama, poetry, dance? Do you know a teacher, therapist or parent who deserves recognition for their commitment to AAC? Do you attend a group, school or club that supports AAC users in a unique way?

Communication Matters is excited to launch the brand new AAC Awards website. On here you will find; details of the awards, some of our first sponsors, how the evening will run and prices of tickets/how to book. Wheelchair users please book as early as possible to secure accessible accommodation. Also, visit this website to find a nomination form.

Please email the item you want to be included by Thursday 5pm - no more than 200 words (one entry per organisation per week) - and include contact email and/or link so readers can find out further information - no file attachments please. Communication Matters will review, collate and post suitable submissions.

***WIN*** a signed copy of Lost Voice Guy's new book 'I'm Only In It For The Parking'! Lee will be performing at our inaugural AAC Awards evening.

You could be in with a chance of winning Lee's book simply by liking our Facebook post and leaving a comment telling us your favourite joke that could be uploaded to a child's AAC device. Not only could you receive a copy of the book, but Lee has agreed to perform the winning joke at the AAC Awards night!

T&Cs: Closes 12th August at 11.59am. Winner will be chosen at random & notified by Facebook message. UK entrants only. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

See here for full T&Cs.

10. About Friday Announcements

These 'Friday Announcements' comprise weekly product updates, upcoming courses and supplier news.

Please email the item you want to be included by Thursday 5pm - no more than 200 words (one entry per organisation per week) - and include contact email and/or link so readers can find out further information - no file attachments please. Communication Matters will review, collate and post suitable submissions.