2021 Study Days

Virtual Clinical Decision-Making & AAC Study Day – 19 Jan & 3 Feb 2021

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.

Who is the study day aimed at?

  • The day is open to professionals, AAC users and family members.
  • The key focus will be children and young people who may benefit from AAC and the assessment / recommendation processes they may experience. Although the original research focused on children and young people, we have received feedback that the theoretical model and resources developed have application to adults.

Proposed learning outcomes:

Delegates will gain first hand insights into UK-informed research and how it can be applied to:

  • conceptualising assessment using the I-ASC Explanatory Model of decision-making
  • the on-line tools and resources developed from the research findings
  • the practicalities of decision-making in local, regional and national contexts

Delegates will have opportunity to apply the decision-making model to their own context. This will be achieved through workshop discussion and the opportunity to use the I-ASC tools and resources.

Date: Tuesday 19 January & Wednesday 3 February

Venue: Virtual

Start: 1pm
Finish: 3.45pm

Past Study Days

Where Next for People with Cognitive Disabilities & Electronic Assistive Technology? Study Day – 29 November 2019

Communication Matters, in collaboration with The Children’s Trust, was delighted to present a new Study Day for all ages which was held in London. The aim of this Study Day was to start a national discussion on how we can better assess and provide Electronic Assistive Technology for people with more significant learning disabilities and promote access to ‘Independent Control’ as an area which requires exploration and, ultimately, national guidance. The day included speakers from the Barnsley Assistive Technology Team, Bath Spa University, The Children’s Trust, Norwood and more.

This is what our delegates said they liked best about the day:
• “Variety of presentations especially the case studies.”
• “Informative and thought provoking.”
• “Networking opportunities / discussions.”
• “Opportunity to meet/hear about other situations.”

AAC & Literacy Best Practice Study Day – 2 May 2019

Communication Matters, in collaboration with Augmentative Communication in Practice: Scotland held the third in a series of AAC and Literacy Study Days at the Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline. This day approached literacy learning in the context of the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. Topics ranged from developing early literacy skills for older learners, promoting the use of accessible books for both low and high tech AAC and assessment of literacy for students who have communication difficulties.

Want to stay involved in this topic? Join our AAC Exams Access Working Group.

This is what our delegates said they liked best about the day:
• “The resources and in-depth information.”
• “The range of presentations and groups available, and networking resources.”
• “The presentations were high quality, engaging and varied.”
• “Seeing what is going on in relation to current AAC strategies and practices.”
• “The opportunity to meet up with and share thinking on literacy/learning in AAC.”
• “Lots of bits and pieces to try out, research, download or adapt.”
• “Resources for assessment and development of literacy skills for AAC users.”

AAC & Literacy Best Practice Study Day – 27 April 2018

Held at the ACE Centre in Oldham, the second in a series of AAC and Literacy based days. This day met the needs of children in both special and mainstream schools and was suitable for both professionals and family members. This study day overlapped with topics discussed at the previous study day. It included special interest talks on issues that relate directly to the challenges faced in delivering literacy to students who use AAC and the challenges students face in acquiring those skills; table top workshops with hands on experience of resources currently available to support the teaching of literacy to AAC users; and an exhibition from suppliers of products directly related to AAC and literacy.

Want to stay involved in this topic? Join our AAC Exams Access Working Group.

AAC & Literacy Best Practice Study Day – 28 April 2017

Held at The Clare Charity Centre in Saunderton with a keynote from Rebecca Loza (Read Write Inc.) and plenary by Marion Stanton & Adam Lenartowicz. There were also talks from parents (Chantal Bryan & Jules Whicher), teachers (Laura Baggley & Hester Mackay) and 4 suppliers and the day ended with some workshops. The day addressed the needs of children in special and mainstream school & hoped to kickstart a special interest group with subsequent days to be planned. The days are suitable for professionals and family members.

Communication in ASD: AAC, Research & Practice Study Day – 20 April 2016

Held at The Lift, London and led by Dr Elaine Clark, Darryl Morgan, Helen Robinson & Dr Greg Pasco (representatives from health, education and research). This study day looked at the use of augmentative communication devices and systems with people with autism.

AAC, Literacy & Complex Needs Study Day – 1 April 2016

Held at Birkbeck College, London and led by Jane Farrall and Sally Clendon. This workshop covered the rationale and principles underlying a balanced comprehensive approach to literacy instruction for all students.

Symbolisation Towards Literacy Study Day – 15 June 2015

Held at Manchester Metropolitan University and led by Janice Murray (MMU) and Martine Smith (Trinity College Dublin). Explored the relationship between symbol communication and the development of literacy.

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