Friday Announcements – 17th January 2020

1. Join Therapy Box community!
2. New Inclusive Technology 2020 Catalogue
3. PODD 2 Day Introductory Workshop
4. Speech and Communication Support Masterclasses for Motor Neurone Disease

News from CM:
5. NEW Communication Matters AAC & Literacy Best Practice Study Day – Booking Now Open!
6. CM2020 International AAC Conference – Call for Papers
7. Communication Matters AAC Information Day in Glasgow
8. About Friday Announcements


1. Join Therapy Box community!

From Gabrielle Flahault, Therapy Box Ltd:

We are launching a Facebook group for our AAC users (Predictable, ChatAble, Scene & Heard and VocaTempo). The aim of this online community is to provide further support and share with you Therapy Box’s latest news and app tutorials.

Share with us your questions or feedback and let other users help you.

How to join the community?
Simply press this link and select Join group.

We look forward to seeing you there!
Therapy Box team

2. New Inclusive Technology 2020 Catalogue

From Duncan Rhodes, Inclusive Technology Ltd:

Inclusive Technology have just launched their new 2020 catalogue.
Discover what’s new in Assistive Technology:

3. PODD 2 Day Introductory Workshop

From Sara Dale, Ace Centre:

Ace Centre are pleased to be hosting a 2 day PODD workshop delivered by Natalie Fitzpatrick at our North office on Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th April 2020. This course will consider the teaching and learning strategies for implementing PODD communication books. The course will address:

  • The challenges faced when creating communication systems and customising them to meet individual requirements, in relation to vocabulary organisation, layout, design and range of access strategies;
  • The importance of receptive language input, and of creating a language learning environment;
  • The features of a PODD communication system, including vocabulary organisation, layout, design, range of access strategies, and how these can be customised to meet individual requirements;
  • How to use PODD generic template resources to produce customised communication books.

Cost: £225

Places can be booked on our website:

4. Speech and Communication Support Masterclasses for Motor Neurone Disease

From Matthew Hollis, MND Association:

The theme for the MND Association’s masterclasses this year is speech and communication. They will be facilitated by Richard Cave (highly specialist speech and language therapist) and Matthew Hollis (Communication Aids Coordinator at the MND Association), with representatives from regional AAC services. These masterclasses aim to help health and social care professionals involved in the management of people with MND to explore practical solutions for patients and their families. There are five masterclasses scheduled across the country, the first in Bridgend on 17th March.

The classes will cover:

  • practical workshops
  • high and low tech options – AAC, environmental controls and apps
  • voice banking
  • emerging technologies

You can book and find out more about these events on our website at

5. NEW Communication Matters AAC & Literacy Best Practice Study Day – Booking Now Open!

Communication Matters is delighted to present our fourth AAC and Literacy Study Day. This event has been organised as a response to the interest generated by Karen Erickson, our keynote speaker at the Communication Matters International AAC Conference held in September last year. Karen addressed “…….the importance of spelling and writing as an integrated part of AAC”. Our speakers will be addressing the literacy needs and the implementation of literacy instruction for children as well as older learners in both special and mainstream schools.

Who is the study day aimed at?

  • The whole team!
  • Parents and other family members
  • Teaching and Learning Staff from both mainstream and special schools
  • Health professionals including Speech and Language Therapists

Proposed learning outcomes:

  • Increased understanding of the wider issues surrounding literacy acquisition for AAC users and the opportunity to discuss with other practitioners
  • Develop knowledge of teaching literacy and awareness of current effective practice
  • Practical experience of literacy learning resources available to support AAC users

Keynote Speaker: Maureen Donnelly
Date: Wednesday 29th April 2020
Venue: Lockleaze Sports Centre, Bonnington Walk, Lockleaze, BRISTOL, BS7 9FJ
Costs: £65 for CM members, £75 for non-members and £40 for family members of AAC users

Visit our website for further details and to download a flyer. Booking is now open!

6. CM2020 International AAC Conference – Call for Papers

You are invited to contribute to the Communication Matters 2020 International AAC Conference (13-15 September, University of Leeds).

Again this year we will be using an online submission programme called Aventri.

We have based our topic areas on the three aspects of evidence-based practice which constituted improved outcomes for all.

These aspects are:

  • Best Research Evidence: Papers submitted under this heading are carried out by independent organisations such as education, social or health services and universities. Authors should pay particular attention to describing the methodology and results of the study.
  • Clinical and Professional Experience: Papers submitted under this heading may include service development, audit or implementation projects, as well as practice reports. Typically, these papers will be presented by health or education professionals or those working for other organisations for AAC users.
  • Personal Stories and Preferences: Papers submitted under this heading would include personal experience stories, single case studies and examples of AAC in the wider community.

Papers can be submitted as either a platform presentation or a poster. We particularly welcome contributions from AAC users and family members. New last year and returning for 2020 are Lightning Talks – these ‘lightning presentations’ will offer delegates the opportunity to present ideas in a short, concise way, with each presentation allocated just 6.25 minutes. If you’ve got a thought, something you’ve designed, or even just a topic you feel passionate about, come along and share it with our delegates in this concise, fast-paced ideas forum!

The deadline for submission is 24 April 2020.

Further information can be found on our website:

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the opportunity please email

7. Communication Matters AAC Information Day in Glasgow

This AAC Information Day is a product demonstration day supported and presented by our Commercial Members from the UK’s leading suppliers of communication aids, equipment, software and symbol systems. The day consists of five sessions which provide information and offer up-to-date knowledge on the range of AAC products available in the UK. There will also be an exhibition period where you can try out products.

Date: Tuesday 28 April 2020
Venue: Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel, Beardmore Street, Clydebank, Glasgow, G81 4SA
Costs: FREE to attend! Lunch & refreshments are provided.

To find out which suppliers are attending, please visit our website by clicking on the links below:

Booking now open!

8. About Friday Announcements

These ‘Friday Announcements’ comprise weekly product updates, upcoming courses and supplier news.

Please email the item you want to be included by Thursday 5pm – no more than 200 words (one entry per organisation per week) – and include contact email and/or link so readers can find out further information – no file attachments please. Communication Matters will review, collate and post suitable submissions.

(Please note that the email address is no longer in use).