#HELLO_2011 One-off Request for AAC Journeys on behalf of The Communication Trust. 2011: UK National Year of Communication @HELLO_2011

Via Anna Reeves, National AAC Coordinator, this is a one-off request for AAC Journeys/Stories on behalf of the Communication Trust…


Welcome and a Happy Hello to 2011! 2011 is the National Year of Communication which is run by The Communication Trust with the help of the Communication Consortium, a coalition of over 40 leading voluntary sector organisations, of which Communication Matters is a member. A whole range of activities, events, and themes are planned for the year so keep an eye out at www.hello.org.uk and for more detailed background information, go to www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/hello

To launch the Year, the Hello campaign is doing a big media push at the end of January. To raise awareness of the importance of the issue of children’s communication at the launch, they need some powerful case studies to position the human impact of speech, language and communication needs in the national media.

If anyone relates to the following journeys and would be willing to share their journeys/stories for this purpose then please contact Annie Broadbent on or 0207 843 2564.

They are looking for stories that explore issues such as:

  • Parents / carers who have struggled with coming to terms with their child’s difficulties or had other members of the extended family – grandparents, siblings, family friends – not understand it.


  • Might be that the young person themselves has struggled with accepting / dealing with their difficulties.


  • Parents / carers who have experienced postcode lottery service – perhaps had to wait a long time for speech and language therapy, have had to go to a tribunal, moved area to get into right provision, struggled to get access to the right communication aid.


  • Parents / carers who have experienced their child being bullied or left out because of their needs. Same goes from the young person directly.


  • Parents / carers who have suffered from stress due to any of the above. Perhaps this has led to divorce or a parent being unable to work.


  • Young people facing difficulties expressing how they feel – perhaps difficulties fitting in, making friends, getting a job etc.


  • Focus by professionals on children’s physical and sensory needs, often overlooking their communication needs and delaying access to the introduction of early communication using AAC or the skills required to access AAC – especially for those children with complex physical disabilities.


  • Lack of available training / funding for training for support assistants in how a child uses their AAC system.


  • Contingency planning when trained support assistants are absent or leave their post.


  • Lack of coordination across the whole school about how a child communicates using AAC.

The Communication Trust are also very interested in positive stories about how services have helped / made a difference and personal triumph stories to underpin the whole of the Hello campaign. However, for the national launch they need the harder edged stories so that they can position this as a serious issue that needs acknowledgement – with real consequences for children, young people and families.


If anyone relates to the following journeys and would be willing to share their journeys/stories for this purpose then please contact Annie Broadbent on 

 or 0207 843 2564.

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