Friday Announcements – 23 October 2020

1. Literacy Research Questionnaire
2. 1Voice Covid-19 Impact Survey
3. Flu is Serious, Seasonal Flu Campaign

News from Communication Matters:
4. NEW The CM Sessions: A series of Twilight Presentations for AAC Awareness Month – Last chance to register!
5. NEW Sign Out Loud Performance – 29th October
6. CM Virtual Balloon Race – The race is on!
7. About Friday Announcements


1. Literacy Research Questionnaire

From Laith Ritchie:

I am currently doing a research article about Literacy with AAC. I am asking, AAC users, Speech and Language Therapists, Educational Professionals, and Parents and carers, to complete a questionnaire about their experiences. This research will be used in an article in the Communication Matters journal.

The article aims to highlight the importance of Literacy with AAC and how it may impact an individual’s communication.

If you would like to take part in this research question please contact me on,

Thank you so much for taking part in advance.


2. 1Voice Covid-19 Impact Survey

From Jo Cope, 1Voice:

Are you, or do you know, an AAC user who is currently in education?

1Voice would like to share the impact of Covid-19 on AAC users with the All-Party Group for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. This inquiry aims to better understand the impact of Covid-19 for young people with SEND in 4 areas: communication and interaction; cognition and learning; emotional health and well-being; physical and sensory needs.

There are a number of ways for you to take part.

  • You can complete the online survey.
  • You can record yourself talking about your experiences and send it to us at
  • You can join us in person to discuss your experiences. A Zoom meeting is taking place on Wednesday 4 November at 12pm. If you would like to join us please get in touch with Jo at so that we can send you the joining information.


3. Flu is Serious, Seasonal Flu Campaign

From Heather Palmer, Scottish Government:

On the 8th October we launched the Flu is Serious seasonal flu campaign, which will run across TV, radio, press and digital for 6 weeks. The flu vaccination programme started on the 1st October, and this year we are already seeing unprecedented interest to get the flu vaccine.

NHS Scotland strongly recommends those eligible get their free flu vaccine this year. This is for three reasons:

  1. Flu can be serious and life threatening. Every year thousands of people in Scotland are hospitalised because of flu, with people 65 and over being at particular risk.
  2. To reduce the risk of you spreading flu to friends and family.
  3. To reduce the pressure that a spike in seasonal flu would put on our NHS on top of COVID-19.

The Flu is Serious campaign aims to highlight the seriousness of flu, especially with COVID-19 around and importance of getting vaccinated. We are also looking to inform new audiences eligible for the flu vaccine, including:

  • social care workers
  • household contacts of those that were shielding, and
  • from December 55-64 year olds will also be eligible.

We are asking people that if they are offered the vaccine, to please get it. They should visit or call 0800 22 44 88 to find out about local arrangements as not all vaccinations will take place this year at GP surgeries.


4. NEW The CM Sessions: A series of Twilight Presentations for AAC Awareness Month – Last chance to register!

We are hosting a series of virtual events throughout October (for AAC Awareness Month) to help raise awareness of AAC and vital funds for the charity. The CM Sessions will have both academic and social elements and will be held every Thursday afternoon in October: 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th. A draft timetable can be found here.

Don’t worry if you haven’t signed up yet, nearly all of the sessions (apart from 3 social activities that need to run live) are available for 30 days and can be watched in your own time if needed. Even if you register later in the month, you will still be sent access to past presentations.

Last chance to register! Registration is open until 29th October.

Find out more about these virtual events and register at

The events are open to everyone from anywhere in the world, so please share with anyone else you think might be interested.


5. NEW Sign Out Loud Performance – 29th October

The lovely Sign Out Loud have offered to do a fun virtual session to raise funds for us!

It will take place live on Zoom on Thursday 29th October at 5.30pm.

If you have signed up for whole attendance at The CM Sessions then your ticket (£20) includes access to this Sign Out Loud session.

However, if you would only like to see Sign Out Loud on its own, then you can sign up for this at just £5. Please buy your ticket here.

Everyone who has registered will be emailed a link to access the session on the day.

There is also a fancy dress theme for this session (optional but fun) which is Crazy Hats! So please find a silly hat, or make your own hat, or even better make a hat using recyclable materials to wear! And in true CM style, there will of course be a prize for the best fancy dress!

If you have any questions about any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact the CM Office on


6. CM Virtual Balloon Race – The race is on!

As part of The CM Sessions running throughout October for AAC Awareness Month, alongside the academic sessions, we are also holding some fun activities including a virtual balloon race! A first for CM!

The balloon race started at midday on 15th October and ends at midday on 28th October.

Find out where your balloon has got to! Go to


7. 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.