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Vital Voices: Using digital stories to increase participation for people who use AAC

  • Deborah Jans
  • Barbara Mathieson

Digital storytelling is an emerging use of multimedia tools to help individuals with long term conditions to tell their true stories in a compelling and emotionally engaging form. Digital stories are usually short narratives in the first person that utilise digital images, music and narration to tell a personal story about a specific topic. For individuals with severe communication impairments, this format appears to be ideal for presenting their personal perspective on their communication skills and how it impacts on their daily lives.

This project, Vital Voices, has involved eight adult AAC users who are aged 19 and onwards. All of the participants expressed an interest in presenting their personal perspective through joint training sessions with Keycomm. However, they also felt it might be difficult to speak in front of an audience and would welcome some new and innovative format which they could be involved in.  Each user attended 4 sessions to design and build their own digital story on the topic "Communication Really Matters!". This session will explore the process of designing a digital story and the challenges both the users and the facilitators faced. Outcomes of the project will also be discussed.

Level of Session 
Age Group 
Topic of interest to people who use AAC