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Staff Member

Gillian McNeill

Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

I have a key role within the CALL team to develop and deliver support for individuals with complex communication needs to access and use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). The focus of the work within this role is to support learners at school in both mainstream and specialist provisions, to develop communication, learning and access to the curriculum and to work with education and other additional support needs staff to develop local support networks.

Based on CALL Scotland's aim to improve the experiences, opportunities and quality of life of those who use AAC, my personal core values and commitments are:

  • promote inclusion, participation and equal opportunity in school, at home and in the community
  • promote positive interaction and wellbeing for those using AAC and developing others as effective communication partners
  • work in partnership with those using AAC, their families, support workers and staff involved

My key areas of work are:

  • assessment and support of individual learners
  • development and delivery of professional learning
  • providing information and advice including web site content
  • involvement in research and development projects
  • working in collaboration with AAC services, Scottish Government and other organisations

And some background information about me:

I first developed an interest in AAC when working as a Speech and Language Therapist for NHS Fife and pursued this 'full time' through joining the Fife regional AAC team (FAACT) in 1990. As the first multi-agency AAC service of its type in Scotland, this provided me with the opportunity to establish and develop the service, supporting individuals of all ages to use AAC.

In 2011, I began to work at CALL Scotland, seeing an opportunity to be part of a national AAC service, working closely with partners across the country and developing my knowledge and skills in Assistive Technology more generally for learners, and with 25 years of AAC experience behind me, became a 'full' member of the team in 2015.

I'm currently working on...

  • collaboration with Scottish Government through the AAC Legislation Advisory Group, for the implementation of the Health Bill 2016 - Provision of Communication Equipment
  • partnership working with AAC services across Scotland through Augmentative Communication In Practice: Scotland (ACIP:S) to deliver training for AAC workers and to organise family and AAC user opportunities
  • developing information resources for AAC Apps and equipment to be available on the CALL website

What I do when I'm not working in CALL

Being part of a family of musicians where music making and music appreciation is a regular occurrence, I enjoy going to musical events including opera, musical theatre, folk, choral and classical concerts, as well as singing in the local community and as a member of an Edinburgh based group - Showcase Musical Productions.