Friday Announcements – 27 November 2020

1. Liberator’s Black Friday Sale
2. Are you getting the best from your Lightwriter SL50?
3. Virtual Clinical Decision-Making & AAC for Children and Young People Study Day
4. Sign Out Loud Fundraising Party
5. FREE Dance and Yoga Courses for those with Special Needs
6. International Day of Disabled People #LeedsForAll

News from Communication Matters:
7. Fun Friday AAC Guitar Group
8. About Friday Announcements


1. Liberator’s Black Friday Sale

From Mick Davies, Liberator Ltd:

Our special Black Friday Deals are running from the 23rd November until the 30th November 2020. Discounts vary and offers only available whilst stocks last.

View all sale items –

Highlights include the following Assistive Technology Products –

  • Lib Switches
    The Lib Switch is a low cost, high quality switch available in 4 bright colours and 3 different sizes.
    Sizes include: Mini Lib Switch (3.5cm), Lib Switch (6.5cm) and Big Lib Switch (12.5cm).
  • Tapio Switch Interface
    With Tapio and an adaptive switch, a single switch user can have complete access to an iPad, an iPhone or an iPod touch, using Apple’s new Switch Control.
  • TrackerPro 2
    The TrackerPro 2 is a computer input device that takes the place of a mouse for people with little or no hand movement. Smoothness, accuracy, ease of use and performance in outdoor light make it the ideal choice for users that use head movement to access their computer.
  • BIGmack
    The BIGmack is a simple communicator that has lots of uses! Record up to a 2 minute message and press the large activation surface for playback.
  • Simply Works Energise
    The Energise allows interference free activation of appliances at up to 10 metres. It has six selectable modes to enable the user to choose how, and for how long, the appliance(s) will be turned on. Energise will accept any wired, single switch or the SimplyWorks Switch 125 or a combination of both.


2. Are you getting the best from your Lightwriter SL50?

From Kat Smith, Abilia:

We are holding the next in our series of webinars next Thursday 3rd December at 12pm to discuss if you are getting the best from your Lightwriter SL50, simple programming and access solutions.

If you’d like to join us, I’ve attached the link below. If you’re unable to join us we record all of our webinars and can forward a recording to you afterwards.

Abilia’s Lightwriter SL50 currently supports adults, young people living with varying conditions with every day communication needs, even if access to a keyboard is difficult we have solutions that might help solve those access needs, and we will look at some of the key features of the Lightwriter SL50.

If you have any questions or anything you’d like to see in our webinar, please do let me know. We’ve found that our webinars work better in up-to-date browsers, and if you have any issues signing up please send over an email ( and I can forward you a link to the liveroom.


3. Virtual Clinical Decision-Making & AAC for Children and Young People Study Day

From Janice Murray, Manchester Metropolitan University:

A one-day event split over two half days: 1-3.45pm (GMT) on Tuesday 19th January & Wednesday 3rd February 2021.

A collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University, Barnsley Assistive Technology Service and Communication Matters.

This event will be informed by the findings from a recently funded UK research project (I-ASC: Identifying Appropriate Symbol communication aids for children who are non-speaking). Delegates will be offered an in-depth review of the findings of the research and the potential implications of these findings and focus on the practical suggestions and solutions that may support AAC decision making.

Follow this link to find out more about the event and how to register:


4. Sign Out Loud Fundraising Party

From Kate McCallum, Sign Out Loud:

Did you love signing your heart out at the end of this year’s virtual CM Sessions? Want some more fun?
Were you due to be at your work Christmas party or maybe the school disco?
Life is a little different this year but it doesn’t mean we can’t still have fun.

Join us Friday 4th December 2020 at 5.30pm for a very special Sign Out Loud fundraising party!
We are supporting @BendriggTrust Big Give Christmas Challenge. Donate what you can, maybe what you would have spent on drinks or that extra special dress?
All funds raised throughout the challenge will go towards The Bendrigg Subsidy Fund enabling socially and economically underprivileged people with disabilities to benefit from the ‘Bendrigg Experience’.

Get glammed up, grab yourself a drink and join us via Zoom for a very special party. To join us simply send us a message via Facebook and we will send you the zoom link.
Thank you from SignOutLoud.


5. FREE Dance and Yoga Courses for those with Special Needs

From Kathryn O’ Toole, Synergy Dance Outreach:

Synergy Dance Outreach has just launched a diverse programme of 174 online dance and yoga classes, including lessons for those with a disability, long term health conditions, Visually Impaired/Blind, Special Needs and older adults. Our National platform is in partnership with EMD UK and Sport England and the classes are free as we were funded by The National Lottery for this project using the Tackling Inequalities Fund.

The dance and yoga programmes are for all ages including seated ParaStars Dance™, and ParaStars Yoga®, audio yoga & dance and more, all via an easily accessible national online platform. There is a lot of content for children – and we are also supporting teens, adults and seniors. You can view our online promo video here.

Here is the link to the platform of free classes which is now live:


6. International Day of Disabled People #LeedsForAll

From Forum Central, The Leeds Disability Group:

We are working with the William Merritt Centre to coordinate a four day celebration to mark International Day of Disabled People 2020 in Leeds. From 1-4 December, a series of accessible, inclusive performances, stories, exhibitions, discussions, information and activities will be available digitally, and we will be publishing lots of offline content too. It will be a space for celebration, reflection, connection, acceptance and challenge.

All events are free to attend, and a number of accessibility options are available. We want to reach as many people as possible to help us celebrate this important occasion and support efforts to make a #LeedsForAll.

You can download the programme here. Further information, and guidance for registering for events is listed below. The latest updates are available by following Forum Central and the William Merritt Centre’s social media channels:

Eventbrite – register for live events –
Contact – for assistance with booking – or 0113 242 1321


7. Fun Friday AAC Guitar Group

From Judy King:

Are you bored in lockdown? Would you like to see other people? (via Zoom) Would you like to learn a new skill? Would you like to have some fun?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these, then come and join us playing guitar chords and singing!

It is a well-known fact that music raises our spirits and makes us feel happy and motivated!

You will need to download either the Guitar Songs: gridset (Grid3), document (Mind Express), pageset (Communicator 5), vocabulary / user (NuVoice) and send your email into Communication Matters on to get a Zoom link.

You will be shown what song to choose and given time to select the chords while others sing along. Why not persuade your PAs / family to join in, sing and play the guitar too – chord fingerings and lyrics can be emailed too!

The first session on November 27th from 2pm – 2.45pm will use the programming already available.

The second and third sessions on December 4th and 11th from 2pm – 2.45pm will be new Christmas Guitar Songs and requests can be made on November 27th.

You can attend just one, two, or all three sessions and there is no cost to attend.

I look forward to seeing many of you there!


8. 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.