The CM Sessions: A series of Twilight Presentations for AAC Awareness Month

Outline of Sessions


This timetable is a draft and is subject to change.

Please note: You will be able to watch the presentations in your own time if needed as most of the resources will be available online for 30 days. (However, some of the Social Sessions will need to run live and if so, this is indicated in the ‘Time’ column below).

DAY 1 - Thursday 1st October
Time (UK)Session TypeSession PresenterSession TitleSession Description
4.30 – 4.35pmIntroductionVicky Healy (Deputy Chair of Communication Matters)Introduction to The CM SessionsWelcome to The CM Sessions
4.35 – 4.45pmIntroductionVicky Healy (Deputy Chair of Communication Matters)Update on Communication MattersWhat has the charity been up to since this time last year?
4.45 – 4.50pmIntroductionVicky Healy (Deputy Chair of Communication Matters)Welcome to the CM Virtual Balloon Race!Please take part and buy your balloons
4.50 – 4.55pmIntroductionCompilation#Roar4CM VideoVideo celebrating AAC!
4.55 – 5.00pmIntroductionCompilationWhat does Communication Matters mean to you?Video celebrating Communication Matters!
5.00 – 5.10pmMAIN PRESENTATIONMeredith Allan (President of the International Society for AAC (ISAAC) and National Treasurer of ISAAC-Australia)2020: The year society glimpsed our view of the worldThe presentation is in two parts, firstly glimpsing inside the AAC world and secondly news about ISAAC. We will survive because we have adapted well.

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5.10 – 6.30pmSocial SessionHosted by Saffron Murphy-Mann (Communication Matters Trustee)CM QuizGet your pen and paper at the ready!
DAY 2 - Thursday 8th October
Time (UK)Session TypeSession PresenterSession TitleSession Description
3.30 – 3.35pmIntroductionVicky Healy (Deputy Chair of Communication Matters)Introduction to The CM SessionsWelcome to The CM Sessions
3.35 – 3.55pmPRESENTATION 1Caroline Gosling (The Seashell Trust)What are the barriers and benefits of telepractice in delivering AAC training to parents and carers?Telepractice was used to deliver training and support to a range of parents and carers of children and young people with complex communication needs and who are using different forms of AAC. This presentation will explore some of the barriers faced as well as the perceived benefits of this approach over face to face forms of training and support. Evaluation of outcomes will also be shared in relation to knowledge of the parents /carers, parent carer behaviour and skills of the AAC user.
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3.55 – 4.10pmSupplier 1David Niemeijer (AssistiveWare)What’s new from AssistiveWare during COVID-19 timesA short overview of the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on AAC and what AssistiveWare is doing to support the AAC community. Contact me on:
4.10 – 4.25pmSupplier 2Sue White (Widgit Software)Using InPrint 3 to create low tech Communication ResourcesSue will demonstrate how quick and easy it is to make low tech Communication Books and Charts using the pre formatted templates in InPrint 3 from Widgit Software. See how easy it is to personalise these resources by adding your own photographs, re texting symbols, and re colouring symbols. The video also includes a demonstration on how to create both a fully symbolised and key symbols only Social Story.
4.25 – 5.00pmMAIN PRESENTATIONGloria Soto, Ph.D (Coordinator of Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education,
Professor in Department of Special Education, and Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences,
San Francisco State University)
A Culturally And Linguistically Responsive Approach To AACClients in need of AAC/AT services from culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) backgrounds are disproportionally excluded from access to quality services. Quality AAC service delivery to clients from CLD backgrounds requires not only appropriate technologies but also research-based evidence on the efficacy of intervention approaches. This seminar will describe the principles of a culturally and linguistically responsive approach to AAC and the existing evidence supporting that course of action.
5.05 – 5.20pmSupplier 3Michael Leppard (Voiceonics)Voiceonics Ltd – New low cost Phrase communication aidAn introduction to Voiceonics and the new Phrase communication aid.

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5.20 – 5.35pmSupplier 4Mark Street (Liberator)LiberatorWelcome to the Liberator presentation for Communication Matters 2020. Our aim is to keep you informed on the latest developments, share ideas and help support new and existing customers. Please do not hesitate to call Liberator on 01733 370 470 or contact your local AAC Consultant should you need any help, support or have any questions.
5.35 – 5.55pmPRESENTATION 2Jamie PreeceTBCTBC
6.00 – 6.30pm (LIVE)Social SessionFrancesca Sephton & Afonso RamalhosoCM BingoBingo cards will be emailed in advance, get ready!

DAY 3 - Thursday 15th October
Time (UK)Session TypeSession PresenterSession TitleSession Description
3.30 – 3.35pmIntroductionVicky Healy (Deputy Chair of Communication Matters)Introduction to The CM SessionsWelcome to The CM Sessions
3.30 – 3.35pmIntroductionVicky Healy (Deputy Chair of Communication Matters)Balloon Race The start of the virtual CM Balloon Race!
3.35 – 3.55pmPRESENTATION 1Emily Walsh (ATtherapy)LESS is more in AAC‘LESS is more’ is a framework designed to support communication partners in the successful establishment of any AAC system.
3.55 – 4.10pmSupplier 1Dougal Hawes, Danielle Foakes,
Adam Waits, Emma Haines, James Reichelt & Richard Gomm (Smartbox)
Take a look at the new Grid Pad 15 from SmartboxGrid Pad 15 is a fully featured communication aid designed for independence. It’s ready to use with any access method and features a 14-hour battery life, 15.6” antiglare display and full colour second screen. Sanitized® technology within the case and screen helps to keep it cleaner for longer by inhibiting the growth of bacteria and the spread of viruses. Go to to find out more.

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4.10 – 4.25pmSupplier 2Tina Voizey (Tobii Dynavox)Introducing Boardmaker 7A much-anticipated update to a much loved software title! This session will highlight all the new symbols and features which will be included in Boardmaker 7, built to engage learners in using symbol supported resources regardless of which access method they use.
4.25 – 4.55pmMAIN PRESENTATIONGail M. Van Tatenhove, PA, MS, CCC-SLP (Speech-Language Pathologist
Orlando, FL USA)
Rock ‘N Roll Therapy: Using Lyrics for Language LearningListening to music is an authentic activity done by parents with their children. This session demonstrates a five-step process for using lyrics for language learning with people who use AAC systems. Guidelines will be provided on how to (1) pick and symbolize a song, (2) listen to and sing the song, (3) speak and study the lyrics, (4) develop springboard activities, and (5) publish and share materials developed. Outcome data will be shared to demonstrate the efficacy of using lyrics as a language learning platform.
4.55 – 5.15pmSupplier 3Gabrielle Flahault (Therapy Box)What’s new in Predictable 6?I am going through the new features and explaining how users can benefit from them.
5.15 – 5.30pmSupplier 4Daniel Cooper (AAC Camp UK)TBCTBC
5.30 – 5.50pmPRESENTATION 2Verity Elliott (Creativity in Practice Ltd)Communication Matters Mentoring Project 2020Find out more about this exciting National Lottery funded project with an update on our current activities along with plans for 2021.
5.50 – 6.35pm (LIVE)Social SessionTBCTBCTBC
DAY 4 - Thursday 22nd October
Time (UK)Session TypeSession PresenterSession TitleSession Description
3.30 – 3.35pmIntroductionVicky Healy (Deputy Chair of Communication Matters)Introduction to The CM SessionsWelcome to The CM Sessions
3.35 – 4.15pmPRESENTATION 1Will Wade and Samantha McNeilly (Ace Centre)Using Morse Code for AACA brief background on morse code, what it is and how we use it in assistive technology solutions. We will also document the use of morse for one case study in particular and how we integrate this with assistive technology. For more information and resources found in the video see
4.15 – 4.30pmSupplier 1Ian Foulger (Techcess)Mind Express 5 and the Vibe 12Techcess are proud to present the long awaited Mind Express 5 along with the latest addition to the Techcess range, the Vibe 12.

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4.30 – 4.45pmSupplier 2Ryan Goodwin (EyeControl)The EyeControl as a Complimentary AAC SolutionWe will first give an introduction to the EyeControl, then share the story and feedback of a user, who primarily connects our device to Grid 3; and, who previously lost her ability to communicate due to advancing MND symptoms and the shortcomings of other existing AAC tools. The underlying message is that the EyeControl can both expand the usability / functionality of existing AAC and/or be used as an alternative altogether.
4.45 – 5.15pmMAIN PRESENTATIONCatia Crivelenti de Figueiredo Walter (Associate Professor of the Graduate Program in Education
Inclusive and Continuing Education Department – Faculty of Education,
State University of Rio de Janeiro)
The Use of Adapted-PECS Promoting the Speech in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)Introducing the Adapted-PECS and its difference from the PECS and I will describe the results of our research investigating early language therapy in children with ASD using AAC (specifically Adapted-PECS).
5.15 – 5.30pmSupplier 3Marion Stanton and Becka Kitchin (SCandLE)Access to Literacy for students who rely on AAC and/or have complex needsCandLE is developing a literacy programme for the UK curricula to support the learning needs of students who rely on AAC and/or have complex needs. Inspired by 4-Blocks, UK systematic approaches, and our own experience of successful literacy teaching over a number of years, we will be showing some elements of our innovative program.
5.30 – 5.40pmSupplier 4Kat Smith (Abilia)SL50 – The Longevity of the LightwriterWe will be talking through some of the new features and existing features of the newest Lightwriter the SL50, and the Trade-in offer that has been extended due to COVID-19.
5.40 – 6.00pmPRESENTATION 2Gregor Gilmour (ATmentors)Mentoring during LockdownIt is about how I continued to deliver my mentoring sessions during lockdown, the struggles that I faced and what I learnt from it.

If you have questions about the mentoring service please contact

6.00 – 6.30pmSocial SessionDJ OllieTBCTBC
DAY 5 - Thursday 29th October
Time (UK)Session TypeSession PresenterSession TitleSession Description
3.30 – 3.35pmIntroductionVicky Healy (Deputy Chair of Communication Matters)Introduction to The CM SessionsWelcome to The CM Sessions
3.35 – 3.50pmMAIN PRESENTATIONMeredith Allan (President of the International Society for AAC (ISAAC) and National Treasurer of ISAAC-Australia)Identity: Shaped or Built?Meredith Allan, Patsie Frawley, Susan Balandin
This presentation reports on an autoethnographic study on understanding identity development through reflections on the lived experience of a person who uses AAC.
The study aimed to explore how identity develops for people who use AAC and how identity development is mediated through the use of AAC. By interviewing friends and family and writing about and reflecting on my own recollections in my early and later life, I have looked at the development of social identity for people who use AAC. Social Identity theory finds that interactions are important to help maintain positive well-being and perhaps, more significantly, the feeling of belonging. I found that friends, and people who know you well help to break down barriers in interactions and therefore have a role in shaping the development of social identity with people who use AAC.
The findings of this study will be used to develop a better understanding of what shapes identity for people who use AAC.

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3.50 – 4.50pmPRESENTATION 1CompilationAAC User Panel Q&A
4.50 – 4.55pmClosing MessageVicky Healy (Deputy Chair of Communication Matters)Balloon RaceThe finish line of the virtual CM Balloon Race!
4.55 – 5.00pmClosing MessageVicky Healy (Deputy Chair of Communication Matters)Final word and farewellThank you for being a part of The CM Sessions
5.00 – 5.30pmBreakGet into your fancy dress if you are taking part! The theme is Crazy Hats!
5.30 – 6.30pm (LIVE)Social SessionSally Featon and Kate McCallum (Sign Out Loud)Sign Out Loud FinaleSign Out Loud is an active and fun way of teaching Makaton through the use of popular music.

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