Sponsorship for Scottish AAC User to Attend Communication Matters Conference 2018

Image result for communication matters logo

Augmentative Communication in Practice: Scotland have agreed to sponsor one person who uses augmentative and alternative communication (AAC User) from Scotland so that they will be able to attend this year’s Communication Matters National AAC Conference, to be held at the University of Leeds between Sunday 9th and Tuesday 11th September, 2018.

What is the Communication Matters Conference?

This is the UK’s leading annual AAC event, with a busy programme of talks, presentations, an exhibition and social events. It provides a great opportunity for AAC users to meet other people and find out more about AAC. There is also a full programme of social events. You can get more information about the conference from http://www.communicationmatters.org.uk/page/conference.

What will the Sponsorship pay for?

Augmentative Communication in Practice: Scotland will pay the registration fees for an AAC User living in Scotland and up to two personal assistants to attend the 2018 Communication Matters Conference. Registration fees include accommodation, meals and access to the conference. Augmentative Communication in Practice: Scotland will also pay reasonable travel expenses to get to Leeds (Standard Class return fare to Leeds for 3 adults, one using a disabled person’s railcard, or 45p/mile for car or van).

How can I apply?

Please download and fill in this form and return it, by Monday February 20th, to:

ACiP:S, c/o CALL Scotland, Paterson’s Land, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AQ

Or email it to enquiries@acipscotland.org.uk.

Unfortunately, Augmentative Communication in Practice: Scotland can only provide one sponsorship this year, so if there is more than one suitable applicant, the winner will be decided by drawing lots.

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Technology Discovery Day and Consultation Event

Back in June 2017, ACIP:S hosted a technology discovery day and consultation event for adults who use AAC.

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Six people came along with their family member or carers.  Although the numbers were smaller than we’d expected, the people who were there were able to discover lots of new and exciting technology: communication aids, music, games,  painting, computer access, and fun photos.

In the afternoon we were joined by Julie Carr and Jean Alexander from the Assisted Communications Team at the Scottish Government.  This part of the day was an opportunity to share information about new developments and to get feedback and views from everyone.

Debbie Jans provided a brief update about the new Scottish legislation for AAC provision and support.

Everyone there had the chance to tell us what they thought about the AAC service they have been receiving to date.  Participants were also asked for their hopes and vision for future AAC services and what they thought “support for AAC” should include.

People came from different parts of Scotland, and obviously their experiences were different.   Most people were happy with the assessment process and with the funding process for their communication aid.  People said that the assessment had been “exciting” because they had been given a voice for the first time.   Feelings about support, including training in the use of the communication aid, were more variable and more polarised – with some people indicating that they felt they (and their family and friends) had received good support and training, while others said they’d received “zero”.  Again there were different experiences relating to the process of getting a replacement communication aid.

Everybody had a chance to speak during this consultation, and everybody did speak.  Julie and Jean will take this information back to their work in the Scottish Government.

Family Fun Day 2018

It’s that time again – the Family Fun Day is back!

Come and join us at CALL Scotland 11am-4pm on Saturday 21st April 2018.

Run by specialist staff (CALL, FAACT, KEYCOMM, SCTCI, TASSCC and others) and funded by Augmentative Communication in Practice: Scotland, this is a chance for families of children with additional support needs to try out and learn about software, hardware, and specialised communication technologies. If you are a professional you are welcome to come along with a family you work with.

The day is FREE, but please book a place in advance, and tell us the ages of the children you are bringing.

Any special arrangements your family may require? Call on 0131 651 6236 in advance of the day.

The day will include:

  • chat with experienced staff about technology and software
  • demonstrations
  • presentations
  • ‘hands on’ time with computers and toys
  • communication aids
  • simple, low-tech symbol-based resources
  • games
  • arts and crafts
  • snacks
  • Smart Wheelchair rides
  • information
  • prizes and more!

How to get there

(More detailed directions to venue)

Parking required?

Parking is limited but you’re able drop off passengers in front of Moray House on Holyrood Road. There are the following parking spaces available:

  • 12 spaces (2 suitable for ‘long wheel base’) on St John’s Road for Blue Badgeholders only;
  • 3 spaces on Holyrood Road (across from the church) for Blue Badge holders only;
  • 10 spaces for staff (not suitable for vans) at the side of Paterson’s Land (building) on St John Street;
  • There is pedestrian access (via gate) on St John’s Street.
  • There is also an NCP car park at the bottom of St John’s Hill (£6.30 for the day).

Drop off points

  • Holyrood Road: a bay big enough for 3 cars in front of the Paterson’s Land building.
  • St John’s Road: a small turning circle in front of the pedestrian gate.

 

A previous family fun day
A previous family fun day

Download the flyer for the Family Fun Day here and tell your friends!

The Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016 and how it affects people with communication difficulties

On 6th April 2016, the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016 was given Royal Assent after previously being passed by the Scottish Parliament. Part 4 of the Act relates to the Provision of Communication Equipment. It states that:

“The Scottish Ministers must, to such extent as they consider necessary to meet all reasonable requirements, provide or secure the provision of—

A) communication equipment, and

B) support in using that equipment,

to any person who has lost their voice or has difficulty speaking.”

This Act could make a big difference to the lives of many people with communication difficulties who do not have a communication aid. The Act has not yet been given a Commencement date, but a lot of work is being done within the Scottish Government and in Health Boards to introduce it in 2017.