Study days explore a single aspect of AAC and provide a great learning opportunity.

2019 Study Days

Where Next for People with Cognitive Disabilities & Electronic Assistive Technology? Study Day – 29th November 2019

Communication Matters, in collaboration with The Children’s Trust, is delighted to present a new Study Day. The aim of this Study Day is to start a national discussion on how we can better assess and provide Electronic Assistive Technology for people with more significant learning disabilities.

It is easy to underestimate the importance of controlling a single function, or a small number of functions, but this can enable a person to experience increased independence, which they may not have in any other area of their life. The importance of developing the use of Electronic Assistive Technology with this group of people was highlighted in the Mansell report 2010 (

This Study Day is about promoting access to ‘Independent Control’ as an area which requires exploration and, ultimately, national guidance. We would like to invite you to join us to start these discussions. The morning will comprise of presentations setting the scene and we will split into groups in the afternoon to discuss topics such as current best practice, guidance required, appropriate equipment (and what is missing).

Who is the study day aimed at?

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

Proposed learning outcomes:

    Participants increasing awareness, understanding of and contribution to discussion around:
  • Current local practice including gaps in service, difficulties in accessing services, lack of wide range of appropriate resources (both Tech and guidance) available
  • Best practice and awareness of need for improvement/ change/ additional pathways to improve access to Electronic Assistive Technology for this client group
  • Need to develop services and pathways for assessment/ provision/ implementation based on current good practice
  • The next steps in terms of development of guidance relating to assessment of clients with significant cognitive impairment and Electronic Assistive Technology

Venue: Irwin Mitchell, 40 Holborn Viaduct, London, EC1N 2PZ

Registration & Tea/Coffee: 9am
Start: 9.30am
Finish: 4.30pm

Booking now open.

Past Study Days

AAC & Literacy Best Practice Study Day – 2 May 2019

Communication Matters, in collaboration with Augmentative Communication in Practice: Scotland held the third in a series of AAC and Literacy Study Days at the Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline. This day approached literacy learning in the context of the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. Topics ranged from developing early literacy skills for older learners, promoting the use of accessible books for both low and high tech AAC and assessment of literacy for students who have communication difficulties.

Want to stay involved in this topic? Join our AAC Exams Access Working Group.

This is what our delegates said they liked best about the day:
• “The resources and in-depth information.”
• “The range of presentations and groups available, and networking resources.”
• “The presentations were high quality, engaging and varied.”
• “Seeing what is going on in relation to current AAC strategies and practices.”
• “The opportunity to meet up with and share thinking on literacy/learning in AAC.”
• “Lots of bits and pieces to try out, research, download or adapt.”
• “Resources for assessment and development of literacy skills for AAC users.”

AAC & Literacy Best Practice Study Day – 27 April 2018

Held at the ACE Centre in Oldham, the second in a series of AAC and Literacy based days. This day met the needs of children in both special and mainstream schools and was suitable for both professionals and family members. This study day overlapped with topics discussed at the previous study day. It included special interest talks on issues that relate directly to the challenges faced in delivering literacy to students who use AAC and the challenges students face in acquiring those skills; table top workshops with hands on experience of resources currently available to support the teaching of literacy to AAC users; and an exhibition from suppliers of products directly related to AAC and literacy.

Want to stay involved in this topic? Join our AAC and Literacy Forum or AAC Exams Access Working Group.

AAC & Literacy Best Practice Study Day – 28 April 2017

Held at The Clare Charity Centre in Saunderton with a keynote from Rebecca Loza (Read Write Inc.) and plenary by Marion Stanton & Adam Lenartowicz. There were also talks from parents (Chantal Bryan & Jules Whicher), teachers (Laura Baggley & Hester Mackay) and 4 suppliers and the day ended with some workshops. The day addressed the needs of children in special and mainstream school & hoped to kickstart a special interest group with subsequent days to be planned. The days are suitable for professionals and family members.

Communication in ASD: AAC, Research & Practice Study Day – 20 April 2016

Held at The Lift, London and led by Dr Elaine Clark, Darryl Morgan, Helen Robinson & Dr Greg Pasco (representatives from health, education and research). This study day looked at the use of augmentative communication devices and systems with people with autism.

AAC, Literacy and Complex Needs Study Day – 1 April 2016

Held at Birkbeck College, London and led by Jane Farrall and Sally Clendon. This workshop covered the rationale and principles underlying a balanced comprehensive approach to literacy instruction for all students.

Symbolisation Towards Literacy Study Day – 15 June 2015

Held at Manchester Metropolitan University and led by Janice Murray (MMU) and Martine Smith (Trinity College Dublin). Explored the relationship between symbol communication and the development of literacy.

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