ISAAC 2010 Conference Feedback

Janice Murray, Chair of Communication Matters, writes:

Over 50 people from the UK attended the ISAAC International Conference this summer. The conference programme offered a varied and thought provoking range of presentations. As part of my Communication Matters role, I attended a number of meetings. Here are some of the highlights…

ISAAC continues with its three main initiatives of BUILD, READ and LEAD:

  • BUILD: led by Erna Alant (USA) (incoming ISAAC president): aim: to build capacity and increase awareness of AAC specifically across emerging and developing ‘AAC’ nations/regions.
  • READ: led by Paul Andres (Germany) & Iina Heikurainen (Finland) aim: to develop accessible materials by addressing:
    (i) Translation needs – they are reviewing which languages should be identified for translation purposes (currently French, German, Italian) and also which symbol systems should be adopted for translation purposes – (currently PCS and Bliss).
    (ii) Revision of website in terms of information exchange, ENews. A significant part of the ISAAC budget is going in to overhauling the whole website over the next two years.
  • LEAD: led by Sarah Lever (USA) and specifically directed towards resources to support PWUAAC. This group have developed a number of packages that are about to be launched on the ISAAC website including:
    (i) Four documents addressing different aspects of leadership training (involving Karen Bryen and her work on employment).
    (ii) Developing ideas and publicity for AAC awareness month (October each year) Terry Gibson is our UK link.

Some other ISAAC details 
– ISAAC membership statistics for 2010: 3634 members in 62 countries (this includes 15 Chapters):

  • Detailed breakdown: 2780 professional + 428 pwuAAC + 294 students + 99 from emerging AAC nations.
  • Language breakdown: 2700 – non-English speaking; 950 – English speaking (of which approximately 400 are Communication Matters members).

Anyone who attended ISAAC 
– it would be good to get comments about the most memorable aspect of the conference experience so we could upload them to our website or include them in the next edition of the Communication Matters Journal. Please email [email protected]