Communication Matters delivers a wide range of opportunities to keep up to date with products, services and government policy.


Our annual conference is the only UK wide event focusing on AAC. Three days for AAC users, professionals, carers and families to learn, share and network.

Information Days

Opportunities to get hands on with the latest communication aids. Held across the UK throughout the year.

Study Days

Study days explore a single aspect of communication aids. A great learning opportunity for those who use or work with communication aids.

Online Training for those new to AAC

AAC e-learning website is a twenty to thirty minute introduction to AAC. It is suitable for those starting out working in health and social care where they would encounter people who have communication difficulties and may use high or low tech systems. It illustrates the ways in which AAC helps people in their daily lives with personal accounts and a short quiz on each section.

Project Summary

The AAC Evidence Base research project was a three-year project funded by the National Lottery through Big Lottery Fund. A grant of £467,751 was awarded to Communication Matters in December 2009. Communication Matters is leading the project and working with three research partners: the University of Sheffield, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Manchester Metropolitan University. The research work started in June 2010 and ended in July 2013.

This groundbreaking project provided fundamental information about the need for, and provision of, AAC which can be used to improve services across the UK. It also provided access to current knowledge in an online AAC Evidence Base which will present information in a variety of accessible formats. Access to this information will help professionals to improve their services and individuals will be empowered to say what they need. Communication Matters has established a Research Involvement Network that will promote the involvement of AAC users in research.

Project Final Report

A series of events took place in April and May 2013 across the UK to disseminate the AAC Evidence Base Project’s final report ‘Shining a Light on Augmentative and Alternative Communication’. This project formed the evidence for changes that have been made to the services within England. There are 5 strands:

You can download the following reports and resources:

Download pdf 400KB Final Report: ‘Shining a Light on Augmentative and Alternative Communication’

Download pdf 5MB Research Report: ‘Beyond the Anecdote’ (by project partners University of Sheffield in collaboration with Barnsley Hospital)

Download Examining the Need for and Provision of AAC Methods in the UK (published in Advances in Clinical Neuroscience & Rehabilitation, Vol. 13, No. 4. July 2013, pp. 20-23)

Download (pdf 146KB) Systematic review of the literature on barriers and facilitators to use of high technology augmentative and alternative communication devices

Download (pdf 209KB) Interventions Using High-Technology Communication Devices: A State of the Art Review

Download (pdf 553KB) What factors do we need to consider when providing high-tech communication aids? A Lay Summary

Download (pdf 553KB) Press release: ‘Thousands Missing Out on Right to a Voice’

Dissemination Seminars and Press Releases

Single Case Study Template

The single case study template was developed to support the collection of consistent and relevant case data. Its development is a culmination of input and advice from AAC users, their families, professionals and researchers. It is intended to support more robust data collection.

If you would like to contribute to Communication Matters’ ever growing case study database of submissions from AAC users, please download the ‘Information for Participants’ document about how to contribute (see below). For further information, please email


Download (pdf 0.1MB) Information for Participants – if you want to contribute to the Case Study Database

Download (pdf 0.5MB) Case Study Template – if you want to contribute to the Case Study Database

Download (pdf 1.5MB) Information about the Case Study Template and ICF Codes – ICF codes (WHO, 2001) describe peoples’ skills, abilities and challenges; these International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) codes are often used in research papers

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