Hereward College News

Monday, 20 May 2013

Hereward College to Host “Living Independently” Seminar for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Users

Hereward Student using AAC equipment
1Voice will be offering a free seminar for users of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) on 22nd June, between 11 am – 3 pm, at Hereward College. The seminar will be held by AAC users with the purpose of explaining how they manage to live independently.

Communication is a skill that is learned and developed by everyone and can be continuously improved. However, for children with speech, language and/or communication needs, the daily struggle to communicate means they could be shut out of everyday life.

AAC covers all forms of communication, other than oral speech, including facial expressions or gestures, symbols and pictures, or writing. People with severe speech or language problems rely on AAC to supplement existing speech or replace speech that is not functional. Special augmentative aids, such as picture and symbol communication boards and electronic devices, are available to help people express themselves. This may increase social interaction, school performance, and feelings of self-worth.

1Voice is a charitable organisation for people with speech impediments who use AAC, which takes a family and social perspective on communication and recognises the great need for adult role models to inspire children and families alike. 1Voice promotes families supporting each other to overcome the isolation that being unable to communicate can bring. They offer network and support for children and families using communication aids.

During the event, participants will get the opportunity to learn about managing their finances, practical and interpersonal skills, managing personal assistants and active safeguarding. Participants will also receive tips and ideas about using AAC and will get the opportunity to participate in question and answer sessions about living independently with the 1Voice representatives.

The event is supported by Hereward College, an all-inclusive FE College in Coventry with specialist provision for students with diverse and complex support requirements. Hereward was selected by 1Voice to host the seminar due to its expertise in Speech and Language Therapy and because many students at Hereward are AAC users. The College puts a high value on developing independence skills which enable its students to become active members of society.

Patrick Bates, ex-student at Hereward College and attendee at previous 1Voice events said:

“I would definitely recommend the 1Voice events to anyone who is using AAC equipment, regardless of age. Their expertise is truly valuable.”


The event is free, but pre-booking is essential. If you’d like to attend please contact Julie Atkinson on Julie.atkinson2@nhs.net or 07773 639281 to register.

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