On this page are reports on the Wave of regional AAC related activities organised and supported by Communication Matters and its Associate members during May and June. These events were an opportunity to celebrate where the use of AAC has made a difference, as well as raise awareness of AAC.
West Midlands events
- In Walsall, a group used the Mayor's Parade on St George's day to raise awareness of SLCN/AAC; they had a stall and ran activities that got people involved in thinking about and using AAC.
- The Dudley Speech and Language Therapy team, took some AAC users to a local college to chat to the students.
- The Coventry paediatric team invited a mix of people including media, MPs and managers of local businesses to an open day at a special school. Students made different kinds of waves: big foam hands, aerial photo of people waving, video of a Mexican wave, handprints on a giant hand.
- Penn Hall Special School in Wolverhampton ran a radio show for their AAC City and Guilds group of students, supported by a local radio station which also reported on it.
- In Birmingham, ACT (Access to Communication and Technology) organised a film night at a local hospital and invited over 80 people from universities, NHS Trust managers, media, PALS team, GPs, headteachers, consultants, councillors, MPs, and care home staff. They showed 'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly' and then facilitated a general discussion re AAC and how we can raise awareness.
South West England events
- In Bristol, a picnic was held on 3 May at College Green for children who use AAC. It was a fun day out involving approximately 60 children, with 6 schools being involved. The Twurzels provided the music for the event, which the children and the members of the public who chose to join us with their picnic lunch, thoroughly enjoyed. There was face painting, a puppet show, switch-operated games, and a cake in the shape of a Bigmack.
- The PCAS Open Day was held on 5 May in Bristol, to celebrate the National Year and as part of the AAC Wave. Attendees included people from Children & Young People's Service, the NHS, parents and the general public. There were demonstrations of communication aids, including 'eyes on' experience with eye gaze systems, and an AAC quiz which was won by our local PCT Commissioner! That evening, Sally Chan (PCAS Clinical Manager) appeared on the local news talking about PCAS and the benefits of AAC for children.