Friday Announcements – 3 July 2020

1. Recruiting Siblings of Individuals who use AAC to take part in Research
2. Would you like to Write an Article for us?
3. New AAC Device from Pretorian Technologies
4. Young Scot Dedicated Young Carer Platform
5. AAC and EC Services in England During the COVID-19 Pandemic
6. Ability World announces new ‘wearable’ GoTalks and improved Fabric Activity Schedules
7. Online Resource for Support during the COVID-19 Outbreak

News from Communication Matters:
8. Saff’s Birthday Fundraiser!
9. Help Us by Signing Up for Free to AmazonSmile & Give as you Live
10. About Friday Announcements


Recruiting Siblings of Individuals who use AAC to take part in Research

From Aideen Lynam, Trinity College Dublin:

My name is Aideen Lynam and I am a Speech and Language Therapist and a PhD student in Trinity College in Dublin.

I am interested in hearing about the experiences of siblings of individuals who use non-speech methods of communication, both in their day to day lives and more specifically about any Speech and Language Therapy they might have been involved in.

Who can participate?
Siblings (aged 18-30) of individuals who use any non-speech methods of communication in addition or in replace of their speech for at least 2 years. These may include a communication device, a communication board, gestures, key word signs, eye gaze – or any combination of these!

What would you have to do?
Complete a short questionnaire before a taking part in a phone or video interview with the researcher.  This shouldn’t take longer than 2 hours in total. This would take place at a time that suits you, between now and January 2021.

What would you need?
Either a phone or a device with access to the internet (e.g. phone, tablet, laptop) to complete the interview on.

Contact Aideen on and she will provide you with more information and a consent form.


2. Would you like to Write an Article for us?

From Gabrielle Flahault, Therapy Box Ltd:

Tell your story with Predictable, ChatAble or Scene & Heard, and we will post it on our website and social media. This can be a case study explaining your needs / your patient’s needs and explaining how our AAC apps answer them. You can also just write about your favourite features!

Send your article to and attach your photo.

Thank you!


3. New AAC Device from Pretorian Technologies

From John Stacey, Pretorian Technologies Ltd:

AACtivity is a highly versatile #communicator and #musical #AAC device.

🔘 8 sound-storing buttons for ease of access to multiple messages

⏱ 8 minutes of recording time across 8 levels

⏺ 64 pre-recorded sounds arranged in 8 categories

🎹 Freestyle Music activity allows the unit to be used as a single octave piano

🎵 Music Scanning activity allows the user to play well-known songs by following the scanning lights

Supports single and two-switch scanning, has a toy output, and an external microphone socket.

A range of videos explaining the main features can be found on our YouTube playlist here –

Find out more and order yours –


4. Young Scot Dedicated Young Carer Platform

From Heather Palmer, Scottish Government:

The Scottish Government has been working with Young Scot for the past 3 years to develop a dedicated platform for young carers which contains opportunities, discounts and information all exclusively for young carers.

What has been developed for this platform is a package that is designed by young carers for young carers and is continually updated to reflect the world and challenges young carers face.

Who can apply for the Young Scot young carer package?
Any young carer, regardless of their caring duties, aged 11 to 18 are entitled to apply for the young carer package. To find out more how to sign up you can go here.


5. AAC and EC Services in England During the COVID-19 Pandemic

From Julie Atkinson, Access to Communication and Technology:

Want to know how AAC and EC services in England have been working with people who need AAC and/or Environmental control (EC) during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Zoe Clarke (Chair of NHS England EC Advisory Group), Richard Cave (SLT at Compass in London who also works for the Motor Neurone Disease Association – MNDA) and Julie Atkinson (Chair of NHS England AAC Advisory Group) have recorded an ‘Ask the Experts’ webinar for the MNDA about how we have been providing AAC and EC services during the COVID pandemic

See here:


6. Ability World announces new ‘wearable’ GoTalks and improved Fabric Activity Schedules

From David Weatherburn, Ability World Ltd:

We are delighted to announce two new easy-to-use ‘wearable’ GoTalks. GoTalk Go and GoTalk Select are available to order at

Ability World’s popular Fabric Activity Schedules are now easier to open and close, thanks to a new ‘easy-open’ tab.  These lightweight, washable Schedules attach to a belt/loop and are an ideal way to support daily tasks and activities. Available in Bifold, Bifold Large and Trifold versions, in a wide range of colours and outer patterns. More information from–timers-139-c.asp

You can also save up to 50% on popular communication books, and up to 75% on communication aids, access switches, adapted toys and more!  For more details please visit–clearance-78-c.asp


7. Online Resource for Support during the COVID-19 Outbreak

From Cath Lee, Mencap:

Leeds Mencap were involved in the pilot of a parent support programme called E-Pats (Early Positive Approaches to Support). The programme was developed by the Tizard Centre at Kent University. The team at the Tizard Centre have now adapted the programme to create an online resource for families to use during this particularly difficult period. The resource is relevant to families supporting a relative with a learning disability of any age and it’s housed in a new website. The link is:


8. Saff’s Birthday Fundraiser!

A huge thank you to our Trustee, Saff, who did a fundraiser on Facebook for her 50th birthday in May and raised an amazing £450 for Communication Matters! Thank you!

Have you got a birthday coming up and would like to raise donations for CM? It’s easy to set up! If you have Facebook go to or you can donate via our JustGiving or Virgin Money Giving pages.

9. Help Us by Signing Up for Free to AmazonSmile & Give as you Live

If you are you doing your shopping online then you can fundraise for Communication Matters at no cost to you by using AmazonSmile and Give as you Live! Now more than ever we are in need of your donations.

  • Support us by shopping on Amazon via AmazonSmile – Please note when signing up that Communication Matters is listed under ISAAC UK.
  • Start shopping at one of the 4,400 donation-raising retailers via Give as you Live – Just go via their website, app or set up a donation reminder.

Raising free donations couldn’t be easier!

10. 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.