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How to Create a Communication Friendly Environment

This seminar will demonstrate how CALL Scotland's 'Communication Friendly Environments' resource pack can help your School/Nursery to create an inclusive & accessible environment for all learners.

Participants will learn about the guidelines, how to make the curriculum accessible, practical ideas, and see best practice examples from schools and nurseries across Scotland.

In addition to the morning seminar, participants will have the option to extend the day and spend the afternoon in a hands-on workshop where there will be opportunities to create their own resources using a variety of symbol software packages such as:

  • Matrix Maker,
  • Boardmaker
  • and InPrint 3.



2nd November 2017
University of Edinburgh

Morning Seminar £40
(9:30am - 12:30pm)

with Workshop £80
(1:30pm - 3:30pm)

What you will learn

Morning seminar

  • The benefits and key features of a Communication Friendly Environment
    and how it contribute to raising pupil attainment across the curriculum.
  • Exploration of the materials in CALL Scotland's Communication Friendly Environments resource pack
    and how it can be used to support all learners, including pupils with print disability due to physical, visual, reading, dyslexic or communication difficulties
  • How best to start implementing a Communication Friendly Environment within your setting.
  • Examples of best practice from across Scotland.

Who is the seminar and workshop aimed at?

  • Class teachers, Support for Learning Teachers
  • Classroom assistants, Additional Support Needs assistants
  • Anyone working with a student with an Additional Support Need
  • Parent/ Carers

Afternoon workshop (optional)

The afternoon session will be capped at a maximum of 16 participants. No prior knowledge or expertise is required. You will get the chance to have hands on practice with Windows laptops using the software and resources that have been talked about in the morning session.

You will have time to explore, ask questions, share ideas and take home ideas that can be immediately embedded into your practice and support of a learner with Additional Support Needs.

Meet your presenter(s)

Joanna Courtney
Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

She has 11 years' experience of working in the field of Augmentative and Alternative Communication, spending her first 7 years working in a Special School. She has an Honours degree (BSc) in Speech and Language Pathology from Queen Margaret University and her particular area of interest is enabling peer interaction and group opportunities for people who use AAC.

Claire Harrison
Assistive Technology and Complex Needs Officer

My role involves: assessment and support of individual learners and research and development projects.

Gillian Mcneill
Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

Gillian’s specialism is in Augmentative and Alternative Communication, drawn from 25 years working within a regional AAC team in Fife, before joining CALL Scotland in 2011. Through this she has built experience from developing a multi-agency AAC partnership, carrying out assessments, implementing support services, delivering training and contributing to AAC projects. Having worked with people with complex communication support needs of all ages - children and adults - her key area of interest presently, is supporting pupils to access learning and communication, through technology.

What the research says

Inclusive education means reducing barriers to learning and participation for all students, not only those with impairments or those who are categorised as having special educational needs. Increasing the participation of students in, and reducing their exclusion from, the cultures, curricula and communities of local schools.
(Ainscow, Dyson & Booth 2006) website:


About the day

Morning Seminar

  • Duration: 9:30am - 12:30pm
  • Class size: No more than 50
  • Refreshments: Tea, coffee and water will be available throughout.

Afternoon Workshop (optional)

  • Duration: 1:30pm - 3:30pm
  • Class size: No more than 16
  • Refreshments: Tea, coffee and water will be available throughout.


  • Room: , University of Edinburgh, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AQ