Friday Announcements – 10 September 2021

1. Smartbox launch Grid Pad 10s
2. Calling on multilingual AAC users with MND
3. Multi-Language feature in Predictable
4. Autism Parenting Magazine
5. CALL Scotland FREE Wednesday Webinar
6. The PMLD Conference
7. Ability World announces new Carry Bag for iPad 10.2” and Two-sided Communication/Choice Boards

News from Communication Matters:
8. CM2021 International AAC Conference – Last Chance to Register!
9. AAC Awards 2021
10. CM AAC User Focus Group – Next Meeting 7th October
11. CM Office Dates & Friday Announcements
12. About Friday Announcements

 

1. Smartbox launch Grid Pad 10s 

From Hannah Craven, Smartbox Assistive Technology Ltd:

Grid Pad 10s is a dedicated, multi-access device designed for users who want a portable and rugged communication aid. The high-quality engineering and unique set of features bring you a next generation AAC device designed with independence and durability in mind. Discover a whole new class of performance with an Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD hard drive – perfect for getting your message across quickly and using all the features within Grid.

Find out more: https://thinksmartbox.com/product/grid-pad-10s/

 

2. Calling on multilingual AAC users with MND

From Wilhelmiina Tiainen, MMU:

Very little is known about the AAC use in people who use two or more languages in their daily life in the UK. In order to explore the views, experiences and challenges of multilingual AAC users, Manchester Metropolitan University are conducting an online research study on the topic.

We are looking for participants with a multilingual background who have Motor Neurone Disease and an AAC system in place. The study will be conducted online and includes a short questionnaire to find out about the participant’s background, followed by an interview. The interview can be in written or spoken form, depending on the participant’s preferences.

We also want to explore the views of the people involved with the AAC users and therefore, the participants are asked to select up to three communication partners who would also be interviewed for the study.

More information can be found from https://www.mndassociation.org/research/get-involved-in-research/take-part-in-research/multilingual-aac/. If you would like to participate or learn more about the study, please contact the researcher Wilhelmiina Tiainen on ulla.w.tiainen@stu.mmu.ac.uk.

 

3. Multi-Language feature in Predictable

From Brad Jordan, Therapy Box Ltd:

Did you know that Predictable supports the use of a secondary language? From the Multi-Language settings, you can choose from 27 languages to use as your secondary language. Then, with a touch of a button you can switch between your primary and secondary languages from the home screen. This will change the voice to that of one designed for that language, as well as the keyboard. You can also choose to replace the default Predictable phrasebank with that of the one from your secondary language!

Check out our website to discover more Predictable features! You can always get in touch at support@therapy-box.co.uk.

 

4. Autism Parenting Magazine

From Joy, Autism Parenting Magazine Ltd:

An award-winning publication aimed at improving the quality of life for families affected by autism. Our focus remains on objectively publishing autism-related topics, events, developments, treatments and news stories. https://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/

We have recently put up a guide regarding Assistive Communication Devices for Children with Autism. Here is the link https://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/assistive-technology-autism/.

 

5. CALL Scotland FREE Wednesday Webinar

From Esther Beeston, CALL Scotland:

Low-Cost Digital Visual Supports, Beth Poss, LessonPix

16.00 – 16.00 BST,  Wednesday 15th September 2021

LessonPix is an inexpensive, web-based resource with more than 50,000 images for creating print and digital visual supports, communication resources, and curriculum materials. In this webinar, participants will learn how to quickly and easily make visual schedules, communication boards, learning games, and much more.

Beth will explore the features of LessonPix including a high contrast image generator, Play Tools and PowerPoint add on. In addition to being able to create custom resources, LessonPix also has thousands of pre-made materials in the Sharing Center to save time for educators, AT professionals, and therapists who can use pre-made materials as is, or adapt to meet the specific learning needs of their students. Whether your need is for print or digital materials, this LessonPix overview will help participants make or find exactly what they require to support students in any learning environment.

 

6. The PMLD Conference

From Joanna, The Sensory Projects:

The PMLD Conference has over 20 speakers talking about topics related to making the world a better place for people with PMLD. Tickets are £5 (+98p booking fee).

The Conference will take place on Facebook, launching on the 2nd of October, delegates will have access to the presentations until the end of October so there will be plenty of time to explore all the different topics presented.

I’ve had a sneak preview of some of the presentations and I’m very excited to see how it unfolds, I hope you can join us there!

 

7. Ability World announces new Carry Bag for iPad 10.2” and Two-sided Communication/Choice Boards

From David Weatherburn, Ability World Ltd:

 

8. CM2021 International AAC Conference – Last Chance to Register!

The Communication Matters International AAC Conference will take place virtually next week from Monday 13th – Friday 17th September 2021.

Over the course of five half days online, participants will enjoy a diverse programme of keynotes, plenaries, presentations, posters and talks from AAC supplier companies. Many presentations will also be made available to delegates to watch in their own time after the conference week has ended.

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.

We are aiming to welcome over 300 attendees to the conference, which will include 80+ presentations, social events and more. We also have some fantastic keynote speakers lined up.

This year’s conference theme is ‘CM2021 – Making Connections’! We know we can’t meet up in person, but we don’t want that to stop us from networking and socialising together virtually and there will be plenty of opportunities to connect this year at #CM2021conf.

The conference starts on Monday so don’t delay and book your place today.

Full programme available here.

If you have any questions, please email admin@communicationmatters.org.uk.

 

9. AAC Awards 2021

It may have been a strange year, but we still have reasons to celebrate! We were delighted to receive so many fantastic nominations for the AAC Awards 2021. They will be held remotely on the evening of Friday 17th September 2021 to close our virtual Communication Matters AAC Conference and hope to bring together all the glitz and excitement of our inaugural ones held in 2019.

There will be 5 categories this time as follows:

  • The Jamie Munro Award
  • The Alan Martin Award
  • Group of the Year Award
  • The Rising Star Award
  • Outstanding Community Inclusion (Lockdown Legend) Award

We will also have a fantastic performance from Sign Out Loud to conclude the conference and awards.

We really look forward to celebrating with you all next week!

Have a look on our awards website for more information.

 

10. CM AAC User Focus Group – Next Meeting 7th October

The group acts as a focus group for Communication Matters and is a vehicle to hear the views of AAC users on CM and its activities and actions. This group is also undertaking some work on behalf of CM led by AAC users, for example, fundraising activities. This group is more suited for older AAC users.

Please contact andrea.sharples@communicationmatters.org.uk if you would like to join the next meeting of the AAC User Focus Group. This is being held on Thursday 7th October from 3-4pm.

 

11. CM Office Dates & Friday Announcements

Please note that there won’t be any Friday Announcements next Friday 17th September during our Annual Conference, or on the following two Fridays (24th Sept & 1st Oct) due to staff leave.

The Communication Matters Office will be closed for two weeks from 20th September – 1st October and we will re-open on Monday 4th October. Please send any general enquiries or submissions for the Friday Announcements to admin@communicationmatters.org.uk and we will get back to you as soon as possible on re-opening.

Thank you for your understanding.

 

12. About Friday Announcements

These ‘Friday Announcements’ comprise weekly product updates, upcoming courses and supplier news. Please email admin@communicationmatters.org.uk 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. Communication Matters will review, collate and post suitable submissions.


If you would like to receive these Friday Announcements to your email inbox each week, please subscribe to our AAC Forum or email admin@communicationmatters.org.uk.