It has been some time since my last project update as the summer term proved to be jam packed with online conferences, events and project discussions, swiftly followed by the energy of a frantic start of term.
This year, I was fortunate to work with a small group of masters dissertation students from the UCL Institute of Education’s MA programme on Educational Technology. Supporting students as they plan and carry out their research, right through to the point of submission, has been such a joy as it’s exciting to see how the research students have brought along different perspectives to examine the many ways that technologies impact on people’s lives. This all under such challenging circumstances; moving empirical research methods online, drawing on secondary data sources and utilising prior literature to craft their research questions and studies.
In August 2021, I attended the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) Connect conference which brought together international delegates for a series of invited talks, workshops, masterclasses and a film festival. There were *way* too many excellent things going on to write about here, but the programme is still visible and gives an idea of the breadth of topics that were covered. I’m looking forward to presenting at ISAAC 2022 where I’ll be talking about how a multimodal perspective can inform how we study interactions that involve people and AAC technologies.
At the Communication Matters Conference in September 2021, I presented some work on how AAC interventions and technologies might be designed differently to support interactions involving children with severe speech and physical impairments. My take-home messages relate to:
- Respecting children’s expertise and agency
- Supporting child-initiated communication
- Regulating the orderings of communication modes and social structures, and
- Advancing involvement through play.
Building on some of these ideas, I have created a short video that translates research into practice. I hope that it can be useful for Speech and Language Therapists and Teachers who have a key role in supporting children who use AAC in school settings.
As always, feel free to get in touch via my contact info and enjoy the video!