Friday Announcements – 21 January 2022

1. Research Opportunity: Reported Use and Confidence of AAC Users with MND to Access Social Media
2. Vacancy: Assistive Technology Technician
3. Upcoming Webinar: ‘Developing Language with LAMP’
4. Opportunity to become a Speech Bubbles Trustee

News from Communication Matters:
5. CM AAC User Focus Group – Next Meeting 26th January
6. CM2022 International AAC Conference – Call for Papers
7. Communication Matters AAC Exhibition Day – Save the Date!
8. Could you be the next Treasurer of Communication Matters?
9. About Friday Announcements

 

1. Research Opportunity: Reported Use and Confidence of AAC Users with MND to Access Social Media

From Victoria Anderson, Leeds Beckett University:

I am working on a research project that looks to understand if AAC users with MND feel confident using social media. I hope to explore how confident AAC users with MND are with accessing social media independently, and what barriers they still face when trying to use social media.

Participants would complete an online questionnaire to share what social media they use and why, how they access it, what training they received, and who provided that training. The questionnaire can take anywhere from 20-40 minutes to complete. There is no time limit on the questionnaire, so participants can complete questions at their own pace.

Results from this study can provide valuable information for Speech and Language Therapists to understand if adaptations to service delivery are needed to better support online communication for AAC users with MND.

Who can participate? Any individual living in the UK diagnosed with MND who uses AAC. If you are interested in participating, please click this link to learn more and access the questionnaire.

Your consideration and cooperation are highly appreciated.

 

2. Vacancy: Assistive Technology Technician

From Louise Clarke, Access Technology North Ltd:

We’re hiring! We’re pleased to announce an Assistive Technology Technician position is now available.

If you’d like to #domorewithtechnology and have a passion for working with people, why not join our dynamic and caring team.

Check out the job description and apply here: https://accesstechnology.co.uk/recruitment/vacancy-assistive-technology-technician

 

3. Upcoming Webinar: ‘Developing Language with LAMP’

From Mark Street, Liberator Ltd:

Wednesday 9th March, 2-5pm, UK time.

This course will focus on early language development and how it relates to intervention and treatment of AAC Communicators using LAMP Words for Life. They will discuss theories of language acquisition, review Brown’s stages of morphological and syntactic development, and consider goal selection and progress monitoring and re-evaluation of AAC users. Case studies will be presented for group discussion. Participants should come prepared to discuss questions they have about language development in AAC communicators.

Presented by: Amy Bereiter, M.S., CCC-SLP, ATP and Josie Randles, MS, CCC-SLP from The Center for AAC and Autism.

Target Audience: Professionals and parents who have ideally attended a one-day LAMP training (not essential) and are working with individuals using LAMP WFL. This training will focus on language development so may be most relevant for SLTs.

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify early stages of language development (e.g., Brown’s stages)
  • Identify and establish developmentally appropriate language goals for AAC Communicator
  • Identify at least 2 ways to target language goals within motivating activities
  • Explain progress monitoring and assessment of language skills in existing WFL users to drive treatment planning

You will need to register to attend the webinar using this link. This webinar is not likely to be recorded due to client videos being shown during the presentation.

I look forward to seeing you on this webinar, should you need any help or support at any time please do not hesitate to call or email Mark Street mark@liberator.co.uk / 07747 016660

 

4. Opportunity to become a Speech Bubbles Trustee

From Lizzie Kennedy, Speech Bubbles:

Speech Bubbles helps children communicate, play, learn and feel good about themselves.

The Speech Bubbles project has been running since 2009. In April 2021 we registered with the Charity Commission. Our start-up board supported the set-up of the organisation and our biggest ever programme.

We are now in the position to expand our board and seek new trustees who are committed to:

  • Supporting children with communication needs through creative practice
  • A society based on principles of equality, equity & social justice
  • Have marketing and/or fundraising experience
  • Have organisational development expertise
  • Have knowledge of creative learning programmes.

In order to benefit from a diversity of skills, understanding and experience we actively seek responses from:

  • Those with lived experience of communication needs
  • Those with experience of supporting children with communication needs
  • Black and global majority applicants
  • First time trustees aged 16-30

We work in Greater Manchester, Greater London & Kent – aiming to work nationally. We welcome applicants from across the UK.

For more information follow this link https://www.speechbubbles.org.uk/trusteerecruitment or please email lizzie@speechbubbles.org.uk. Applications will close on the 25th of February.

 

5. CM AAC User Focus Group – Next Meeting 26th January

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.

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 online on Wednesday 26th January at 4pm.

 

6. CM2022 International AAC Conference – Call for Papers

You are invited to contribute to the Communication Matters 2022 International AAC Conference (11-13 September, University of Leeds).

We have based our topic areas on the three aspects of evidence-based practice which constitute improved outcomes for all.

These aspects are:

  • Best Research Evidence: Papers submitted under this heading are carried out by independent organisations such as education, social or health services and universities. Authors should pay particular attention to describing the methodology and results of the study.
  • Clinical and Professional Experience: Papers submitted under this heading may include service development, audit or implementation projects, as well as practice reports. Typically, these papers will be presented by health or education professionals or those working for other organisations for AAC users.
  • Personal Stories and Preferences: Papers submitted under this heading would include personal experience stories, single case studies and examples of AAC in the wider community. We particularly welcome contributions from AAC users and family members.

Again, this year we will be using an online submission programme called Aventri. You will be asked to login and submit a simple form with a title and a short summary about your talk (maximum 300 words).

Papers can be submitted as either a Platform presentation (45-minutes), a Poster, or a Lightning Talk (6.25 minutes).

The deadline for submissions is 22 April 2022. However, we would encourage you to submit your abstract as soon as possible to help with our planning.

For further information and to submit an abstract, please visit our website.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the opportunity, please email admin@communicationmatters.org.uk.

 

7. Communication Matters AAC Exhibition Day – Save the Date!

Communication Matters is pleased to announce the opportunity to meet suppliers of AAC products and related services in person.

When? Monday 28th March 2022, 11:00-16:00
Where? The Edge Exhibition Centre, Willow Terrace Road, Leeds, LS2 9JT

The world of AAC is constantly changing – new software and technology, new strategies, new evidence about use of AAC, and new social and political developments.

The day will be open to:

  • AAC users, parents, carers, and professionals
  • Professionals specialising in AAC who want to update their knowledge on fast-changing technology and contribute to their Continuing Professional Development
  • People who work with children or adults with severe speech, language, or communication difficulties
  • Everyone with an interest in communication technology

The Exhibition Centre is located near to a multi-storey car park at the centre of the University of Leeds and has easy access for wheelchair users. Refreshments will be available.

This will be an opportunity to:

  • Get hands on with the latest communication aids
  • Discover the latest developments in AAC products, direct from many of the UK’s leading suppliers.
  • See the latest product demonstrations by our Commercial Members. They are among the UK’s leading suppliers of communication aids, equipment, software, and symbol systems
  • Get up-to-date information on the range of AAC products available in the UK

The AAC supplier companies who are booked onto exhibit so far are: Emego, EyeTech, Liberator, Smartbox, Smile Smart Technology, Teach AAC, Therapy Box and Tobii Dynavox.

Watch this space and our website for more information!

 

8. Could you be the next Treasurer of Communication Matters?

We are looking for someone with skills in finance to become our next Treasurer of Communication Matters! This person would ideally have a background in finance but doesn’t necessarily need to know about AAC. Typically, the Treasurer’s duties include managing and overseeing the financial affairs of the organisation, as well as budgets and reports, but we promise there are fun jobs too!

If you love a good spreadsheet or know someone who does then please get in touch. Being a Trustee requires stamina, commitment, and skill mixing, but it is also very stimulating, enjoyable, and rewarding.

Neil Hansen has returned as co-opted Treasurer in the interim until we can find someone to take on the role longer term. A typical Trustee term is for three years. Volunteers sought – please contact us on admin@communicationmatters.org.uk for more details.

 

9. 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.