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CM2017 Keynote Speakers

The keynote speakers at this year's Communication Matters National AAC Conference, CM2017 are:

Bronwyn HemsleyBronwyn Hemsley 

Monday Morning Keynote

Associate Professor Bronwyn Hemsley is a speech pathologist and clinical researcher at The University of Newcastle in Australia. She is a leader of a research group in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences that includes researchers in sociology, history, film, media and cultural studies, speech pathology, and social work. Her research since 2014 has focused on the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) for people who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), including the use of personally controlled electronic health records, and social media. She is a past President-Elect of ISAAC, has served as Chair of the Research Committee and Governance Working Group, and was Chair of the Research Symposium of ISAAC in Toronto in 2016. Bronwyn recently provided a 'creative use of Twitter' for information exchange, in the Vivid Lights Festival in Sydney, Australia.

Her talk is titled 'Social Media for Engagement: Safe and Enjoyable New Frontiers for People who use AAC.' and will be on 'The Empowerment and Safety of People with Communication Disability in Social Media: Supporting Persistence, Visibleness, and Reach in Online Communities. Social media technologies are designed to support persistence, visibility, spreadability, and searchability of materials published online. With the right technologies for access, funding, supports and safeguards, people with communication disability could become more persistent in engagement via social media. They could become more visible online even if isolated in real life. They and their families could grow the audience that they want to reach online, and know how to search for and find connections that work for them. This could include employment and social opportunities. In this talk, Bronwyn will explore how people who use AAC are becoming more 'visible' and 'persistent' in social media. Bronwyn will focus on the use of social media as a means to (a) increase awareness, understanding and knowledge of the field of AAC; (b) provide a forum for exchanging information on AAC; and (c) stimulate new ideas in the field of AAC and research to explore new possibilities.'

Lisa Simpson

Tuesday Afternoon Plenary 

Lisa SimpsonI am a Liverpool based choreographer/workshop leader with a disability. I have quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy and no verbal communication; therefore I choreograph using the Simpson Board, an inexpensive but priceless tool that enables disabled people to choreograph their own work. The board was created by choreographer Adam Benjamin, Co-founder of CandoCo Dance Company (1990 – 98), Author of 'Making An Entrance. Theory and Practice for disabled and non-disabled dancers' (Rutledge, 2001) and lectures in Theatre and Performance at University of Plymouth who was inspired by the methods by which I produced visual artwork. To find out more information go to

Lisa Simpson