Communication Matters 2013: Day 3, Endgame…

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This year I blogged each day at Communication Matters 2013. Day 1 is here, and Day 2 is here.

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…and that’s the end of Communication Matters Conference for another year…

Just because it’s relevent to the people who read this – there was a lot more Twitter activity this year and last.  The people below were tweeting under the #cmconf tag – I think I met a lot of you in person but apologies if I didn’t…

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(list supplied by this place)

So, to Tuesday…

Very quiet breakfast morning – just me and the manufactures had the place to ourselves for the duration…

Lovely, of course, to speak to the manufactures, but we were due to give a presentation at 08:50, and pretty alarming to think that most of the conference might still be in the process of checking out…

As it happened, we need not have worried, I was very pleased to see that not only did we pack out the hall to capacity (admittedly we only achieved this 10 minutes after starting…) but we were full of vocal, invested, people who all had something to say.

Was was particularly nice, was that the whole group stayed around for the next session – which I ran as a purely discussion session – it meant that we only covered about 3/10 of the things I’d like to have covered – but we still managed a diverse range of opinions and half an hours debate amongst the full range of stakeholders on such topics as open-source, transferability of independently created language, the hardware/software barrier and the four types of silence. In my mind it was exactly the sort of conversation that should have been happening.

Anyway – so that was my early morning. It meant that I was sad to miss Normal Alm’s “Three’s Company” talk  and also Rohan Slaughter’s talk on enviromental control systems.

I also got a chance to see Annalu Waller talk about arranging for AAC-users to meet medical students, and a lovely talk by Kate McCallum on the role of OT in AAC (it was lovely in its own right, but it gained bonus points for having cited my papers…).

I was sorry to miss Vicky Johnson’s talk on mapping AAC services, which is quite the interest of mine, but Vicky was good humoured about me eventually tracking her down to pepper her with questions.

Elsewhere in the forest I heard, yet again, excellent things about Talking Mats, and I understand some very interesting concepts were put forward by Jodie Rogers in terms of preparing groundwork for AAC using other types of tecnology.

One of the other interesting things about CM this year was the emergence of Articuloud, which is a lovely little concept – AAC on a week-to-week basis, rather than by a massive lump sum. It’s currently a very new service, but it looks like it might turn out to be, at the very least, a really good ‘fall-back’ service that comes in handy when a primary device is broken, or otherwise unavailible (which was a theme that came up again and again in talks with users – even the most articulate and acomplished AAC users had gone thought periods without the device support that is *so* important to them.

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(Image used on the special ‘saying nice things about them so that probably won’t mind if I pinch an image from their twitter feed’ licence)
Looking forward to next year.

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