You are invited to join us as an ASSOCIATE MEMBER of Communication Matters (CM). We have around 400 ASSOCIATE MEMBERS from all over the UK who represent the various interests in AAC – professional, personal experience and trade.

CM is the UK Chapter of ISAAC (International Society for AAC) – when you join CM, you are also joining ISAAC and a portion of your annual membership fee goes directly to ISAAC.

Our membership year runs from January 1st to December 31st.
• You will receive three issues of the Communication Matters Journal.
• If you join part-way through the year then you will receive back issues of the CM Journal.
• You can also subscribe to some additional journals and newsletters as a member.

ASSOCIATE MEMBERS elect the Board of Trustees which runs Communication Matters. Organisational, Corporate and Institutional members agree to abide by a Code of Conduct. Communication Matters has a Complaints Policy.

Free membership. We offer a limited number of free sponsored memberships for one year. These are for new joiners who are AAC users, plus their family members.

Associate members must be UK residents. If you are not, please consider joining ISAAC (the International Society for AAC).

MEMBER BENEFITS

As an ASSOCIATE MEMBER of Communication Matters you will become part of a UK-wide organisation dedicated to supporting the needs of people of all ages and abilities who need AAC.

• Communication Matters Journal – three issues a year, delivered to your door. Each issue is full of interesting articles by AAC users, family members and professionals, and includes topics of current interest: case histories, research studies, reviews, training opportunities and lots more!

• Monthly email newsletter

• Access to latest information on a wide range of AAC issues

• Free attendance at Communication Matters AAC Information Days

• Reduced rate to attend Communication Matters Study Days

• Reduced rate to attend the Communication Matters International Conference

• Access to the password-protected membership area of website

• Consultations and workshops that influence future provision and service of AAC

• ISAAC Membership – e-format copies of ISAAC news bulletins, reduced rate subscription to ISAAC journals and newsletters, reduced rate for attendance at ISAAC Biennial Conference

• All the benefits of individual membership, plus:

• Eligible to apply to present at CM AAC Information Days (if supplier of AAC products or services)

• Eligible to exhibit at the CM International Conference (fee payable)

• Eligible to advertise in the CM Journal at reduced rate

• Option to be included in the list of AAC Assessment Services on the Communication Matters website, and to post notifications of training events on our online calendar

• CM Organisational A: two sets of the CM Journal (three issues), up to three reduced-rate delegates at any CM Study Day, and up to three delegates eligible to attend CM International Conference (fees payable)

• CM Organisational B: four sets of the CM Journal (three issues), up to six reduced-rate delegates at any CM Study Day, and up to six delegates eligible to attend CM International Conference (fees payable)

• CM Organisational C: six sets of the CM Journal (three issues), up to 10 reduced-rate delegates at any CM Study Day, and up to 10 delegates eligible to attend CM International Conference (fees payable)

• A reduced-rate delegate place at the ISAAC Biennial Conference

• All the benefits of CM Organisational members, plus:

• Separate listing and reduced rate advertising in ISAAC Membership Directory and the AAC Journal

• Reduced rate at the ISAAC Biennial Conference

• All the benefits of CM Organisational members, plus:

• Two additional reduced-rate places at ISAAC Biennial Conference

HOW DO I JOIN?

JUST FOUR EASY STEPS TO BECOMING A MEMBER OF COMMUNICATION MATTERS

TYPES OF MEMBERSHIP

  • AAC User/Family

    £22

    New members can have free membership for one year, subject to availability

    • Same benefits as individual membership
  • Full-time Student

    £23

    • Same benefits as individual membership
  • Retired

    £51

    Available to people who have retired from working in the AAC field

    • Same benefits as individual membership
  • ISAAC Institutional

    £355

    • Same benefits as CM Organisational Membership A, plus:
    • Two extra delegates at the ISAAC Biennial Conference at reduced rate
    • Separate listing and reduced advertising rate in the ISAAC Membership Directory and AAC Journal
  • ISAAC Corporate

    £710

    • Same benefits same as CM Organisational Membership A, plus
    • Separate listing and reduced advertising rate in the ISAAC Membership Directory and AAC Journal
    • Reduced rate exhibition stand and advertising at ISAAC Biennial Conference and ISAAC co-sponsored events
  • Individual

    £69

    • Three issues of Communication Matters Journal
    • Reduced rate at any Study Day/AAC Information Day organised by CM
    • Eligible to attend the Communication Matters International Conference
    • Reduced-rate delegate place at ISAAC Biennial Conference.
    • Opportunity to apply to be considered as a listing on our website if you offer an independent, specialist or training AAC service, subject to Trustee approval at a quarterly Board meeting
  • CM Organisational (Types A, B & C)

    • Same benefits as Individual membership, plus:
    • Eligible to apply to present at CM AAC Information Days (if supplier of AAC products or services)
    • Reduced exhibition rates at the International Conference
    • Reduced Communication Matters Journal advertising rate
    • One reduced-rate delegate place at the ISAAC Biennial Conference

    – CM Organisational A: £189

    Two sets of the CM Journal (three issues), up to three reduced-rate delegates at any CM Study Day, and up to three delegates eligible to attend CM International Conference.

    – CM Organisational B: £344

    Four sets of the CM Journal (three issues), up to six reduced-rate delegates at any CM Study Day, and up to six delegates eligible to attend CM International Conference.

    – CM Organisational C: £528

    Six sets of the CM Journal (three issues), up to 10 reduced-rate delegates at any CM Study Day, and up to 10 delegates eligible to attend CM International Conference.

    All types must include named members on the form.

CODE OF CONDUCT

Organisational and ISAAC Corporate/Institutional members agree to abide by a Code of Conduct

WE HAVE A CODE OF CONDUCT FOR ORGANISATIONAL AND ISAAC CORPORATE/INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERS OF COMMUNICATION MATTERS.

Organisational and ISAAC Corporate/Institutional members agree, when joining us, to abide by our Code of Conduct. It is not legally binding, but guidance for best practice. You must adhere to it when attending an event organised by Communication Matters or when using the name Communication Matters to endorse the member’s work.

  • HONEST PRESENTATION OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

    You will provide an honest presentation of the products and services you offer.

  • NO MISREPRESENTATION OF COMPETITORS’ PRODUCTS OR SERVICES

    You will not misrepresent your competitors’ products or services.

  • CLINICAL ASSESSMENTS

    You will not misrepresent your demonstrations or consultations as “clinical assessments” unless you are clinically qualified. We recommend collaborative, multi-disciplinary assessments in the best interests of your client.

  • FIND THE MOST SUITABLE SOLUTION FOR THE CLIENT

    No individual product can meet everyone’s needs, so you agree to freely suggest alternative solutions where alternative technologies might be more appropriate to meet your client’s needs. Alternatively, you may suggest clients seek an impartial assessment from an assessment service provider. Your goal is always to find the most suitable solution for the client.

  • LEGAL, REGULATORY AND OTHER STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS

    You agree to meet all legal, regulatory and other statutory requirements as necessary; you must carry appropriate indemnity insurance; all your employees in client-facing roles should have the appropriate child / vulnerable adult clearances for the countries in which they operate.

Complaints Policy

Best Practice No. BP21 (version 2.0, reviewed July 2019)

1. Background

1.1 Communication Matters has various types of membership including Associate members (e.g. AAC users, family members, professionals etc), and Organisational members (e.g. not for profit organisations involved in AAC, businesses selling communication aids and/or services).

1.2 Communication Matters (CM) has a Code of Conduct that all Institutional, Commercial and Corporate members agree to abide by when they join us.

2. Policy statement

2.1 Communication Matters is not a regulatory organisation, but we take all complaints seriously and aim to reach a satisfactory conclusion for all involved parties. We recognise that many of our members are also members of professional bodies, trade associations, etc, which have their own complaints procedures in place. It is therefore our policy, wherever possible, to refer complainants to the relevant professional regulatory body or trade organisation.

3. Complaints process

Should someone make a complaint about a member of Communication Matters, whether to an individual Trustee or direct to the Board of Trustees, we will handle the complaint as follows:

3.1 We will advise the complainant to contact the other party, in writing if necessary, to request a resolution to the problem.

3.2 If it is not possible to achieve resolution by step 3.1, we will advise the complainant to take their complaint to the next level of authority.

3.2.1 If the complaint is about a commercial or corporate organisation, the complaint should be made, in writing, to the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA). The BHTA gives guidance on how to complain on its website. You can complete an online form, or you can write to the BHTA at New Loom House, Suite 4.06, 101, Back Church Lane, London E1 1LU (www.bhta.net). The organisation against which the complaint is being made does NOT have to be a BHTA member for the BHTA to handle the complaint. If the organisation is a member of the BHTA, the BHTA will try to use its authority to produce a satisfactory resolution. If the organisation is not a member, BHTA will advise the organisation concerned and pass the details onto the relevant legal body, e.g. the Office of Fair Trading, local Trading Standards etc.

3.2.2 If the complaint is about an individual professional member the complaint should be made to the relevant regulatory body, e.g. Health Professions Council (HPC), Park House, 184 Kennington Park Road, London SE11 4BU (www.hpc-uk.org) for Allied Health Professionals.

3.2.3 If the complaint is about an institutional member it should be directed to that institution’s Board of Trustees, Management Board or equivalent. The complainant will then need to deal directly with that governing body.

3.2.4 If the complaint is about a private individual who is not covered by any of the above, we will advise the complainant that their only recourse is through the statutory legal process.

4. Breach of Code of Conduct

4.1 Should the complainant specifically state that they wish us to deal with their complaint as a breach of our Code of Conduct, the complainant must provide the following before we will review their complaint:

4.1.1 A copy of the complaint they sent to the other party (e.g. letter or email).

4.1.2 A copy of the response that shows or indicates the other party has not dealt with the complaint satisfactorily. Should they have responded verbally, we will accept as evidence a copy of a letter or email sent to the other party that confirms the verbal conversation.

4.1.3 A copy of a letter or email from the complainant to the other party advising that they are not satisfied with the response and that they intend to inform us that they believe there has been a breach of our Code of Conduct.

4.1.4 Any other documentary evidence.

4.2 Once all the documentation has been received, the full Board of Trustees will appoint an Investigative Trustee (IT) who has no conflict of interest with either party to consider the evidence. If the IT concludes that a breach has taken place, then they will contact the other party requesting them to instigate a resolution. If no resolution is reached then the IT will refer the complaint to the Board of Trustees. If the IT concludes that no breach has taken place, then they will contact the complainant and advise of their findings. The complainant can appeal in writing within 30 days of such decision to the Chairperson of our Board. The Board of Trustees will hear the appeal and make a final decision.

4.3 Should there be no satisfactory outcome from these actions, the IT will refer the matter to the full Board of Trustees, for review, at their next meeting and they will make the final decision on what action to take. If the Board upholds a complaint as justified, they may take one of the following actions:

4.3.1 A warning letter to the offending party advising that a repeat of the breach may lead to their membership being suspended or cancelled. Such a warning may be given even if the offending party has resolved the complaint but the Board still feel it is justified.

4.3.2 Suspension of the offending party’s membership until they take the necessary actions required to resolve the complaint.

4.3.3 The cancellation of the offending party’s membership if the Board consider the complaint was serious enough to warrant such action.

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