Friday Announcements – 10 May 2024

1. Family and Young People Survey
2. SLT Vacancy at Kent and Medway CAT
3. Speech Bubbles – New Board Members Needed!
4. Training Tool for Supporting the Needs of Neurodivergent Children and Young People

News from Communication Matters:
5. New for 2024 CM Communication Clubs
6. CM2024 International AAC Conference – Register Now!
7. CM2024 Great Book Draw
8. Join Our Open Mic Night at Conference!
9. About Friday Announcements


1. Family and Young People Survey

From Louisa Reeves, Speech and Language UK:

We are asking young people and family members who are experts by experience in speech and language challenges to share their thoughts and expertise with us through this survey:

https://speechandlanguage.org.uk/about-us/news-and-blogs/your-experience-matters-take-part-in-our-new-family-and-young-people-survey/

Please pass this on to families and young people you know or work with who have this expertise. We are only 40 responses away from our target of 1,000!  Once we have the responses in and have analysed them we will be sharing the results with Speech, Language and Communication Alliance members.

 

2. SLT Vacancy at Kent and Medway CAT

From Friedl Jansen van Vuuren, Kent and Medway CAT Service:

This is an exciting opportunity to join our team. We are looking for an experienced Speech & Language Therapist with an interest in developing their clinical skills in the field of Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC).

The Kent and Medway Communication and Assistive Technology (KM CAT) Service is a specialist Service established in collaboration with Kent County Council and NHS England. The Service assesses and supports disabled children and young people who need to use Electronic Assistive Technology (EAT) or Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC).

For details of the role, click here.

 

3. Speech Bubbles – New Board Members Needed!   

From Lizzie Kennedy, Speech Bubbles:

Speech Bubbles CIO uses drama techniques with children in KS1 who need support with communication, confidence and social interaction.

It was launched in 2009 at London Bubble Theatre in response to the strategic review by the MP John Bercow and in 2021 it was registered as an independent charity.

We are looking for new trustees to join our board.  Are you a Speech and Language specialist?  Or do you have experience in communication, marketing, business development and/or fundraising?  Would you like to help support our small charity develop and grow?  This could be just the thing for you!

To find out more, follow this link: Trustee Recruitment – Speech Bubbles or get in touch by emailing [email protected].

 

4. Training Tool for Supporting the Needs of Neurodivergent Children and Young People

From Embracing Complexity:

A team of academics and practitioners from the Centre for Neurodiversity and Development at Durham University have created an evidence-based online training tool that is all about supporting the needs of autistic and neurodivergent children and young people in schools. In particular, the training uses research that they have done on three key issues – attention, sensory arousal and anxiety – to try to change understanding and provide support for neurodivergent pupils.

The training is targeted at educational professionals, but relevant to many (parents, educational psychologists, support workers, other professionals). Although the focus is on schools, it is also relevant to residential settings too. It is freely accessible to all – you simply need to register. The training provides psychoeducation, research evidence and a downloadable package of practical support strategies.

You can access it here: www.tripleadurham.co.uk.

The team is asking for your support in circulating the information about their training in your networks.

 

5. New for 2024 CM Communication Clubs

With funding from the National Lottery, Communication Matters are delighted to launch our new Communication Clubs. The aim of the Communication Clubs is to enable AAC users to meet together for peer support and make connections with other AAC users. We can also help AAC users gain an accredited qualification.

The Communication Clubs can take place in any venue or setting such as a school, college or in the local community. They can be in person or online. We are particularly interested in AAC users who have gained the Level 1 in Mentoring qualification to help co-facilitate these sessions either in person or remotely.

CM have created some useful resources and we can provide support and guidance. For more information please go to our website via this link: Communication Clubs.

 

6. CM2024 International AAC Conference – Register Now!

The Communication Matters International AAC Conference will take place at the University of Leeds from 8-10 September 2024.

Over the course of two and a half days, participants will enjoy a diverse programme of keynotes, plenaries, presentations, posters and talks from AAC supplier companies.

The conference provides a unique forum to meet and exchange information with representatives from all disciplines associated with AAC, including AAC users, parents, personal assistants, professionals, and suppliers of AAC equipment. Communication Matters encourages and supports AAC users to attend.

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.

Registration is now open! Book early to take advantage of the Early Bird discount which expires on 12 July. See prices and book online here.

 

7. CM2024 Great Book Draw

Wanted: Recently Published Books

Are you the author of a recently published (or about to be published) book that addresses any aspect of AAC, either fiction or non-fiction? Would you like to have an image and description of your book included in the CM2024 Conference Programme?

Why not donate a copy to the CM2024 Great Book Draw? Approximately 400 delegates will have the opportunity to sign up for the Great Book Draw which will be held during the International AAC Conference at the University of Leeds on 8-10 September.

We are open to all books about AAC but this year we would particularly welcome books regarding neurodiversity, adults using AAC, and/or empowerment.
If you are interested, please email [email protected] by 7th June.

 

8. Join Our Open Mic Night at Conference!

Calling all performers: musicians, magicians, comedians, dancers, poets, and beyond! If you’ve got a talent, we want you to share it! Following the triumph of last year’s open mic night, it’s now your moment to dazzle at #CM2024conf. All delegates are welcome to get involved. Whether you’ve got one corny joke or a whole dance routine, come and join the fun!

Sign up below to reserve your spot as an individual or group for our Communication Matters Open Mic Night. Taking place in the Terrace Bar in the Student’s Union after dinner on Sunday 8th September.

Book your spot now at: https://forms.office.com/e/kaqj3HjcGe. Please note that you must be registered for the conference to attend.

 

9. About Friday Announcements

These ‘Friday Announcements’ comprise weekly product updates, upcoming courses and supplier news. Please email [email protected] with the item you want to be included by Thursday at 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).


If you would like to receive these Friday Announcements to your email inbox each week, please subscribe to our AAC Forum or email [email protected].