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Choosing and Using Text-based AAC Communication Apps on iPad

Text-based communication apps are used by young people and adults with communication difficulties who can read and write. Using text based AAC typically involves a combination of spelling and choosing pre-written messages. Most high tech text-based AAC systems also use word prediction to speed up communication.

This 90-minute online learning workshop will be led by Gillian McNeill, one of CALL Scotland's specialist Speech and Language Therapists. The purpose of this workshop will be to develop knowledge and skills in app selection and use of these apps for those with basic to more advanced literacy skills, whose special needs result from Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Stroke, MND and other conditions. There will be the opportunity to ask questions and you can try out activities on your own iPad during the session.



29th October 2020
University of Edinburgh

Online learning
per person
Time: 4:00pm - 5:30pm

What you will learn

  • To analyse the range of text-based communication apps on the newly updated CALL Scotland AAC App wheel, from low cost apps with basic features to higher cost fully featured apps.
  • To demonstrate how text based communication apps can be implemented and to discuss which features are essential and which are desirable.
  • To explore word/phrase banking, word prediction, layout and appearance options, different voices, and alternative access, including different keyboard options.
  • To identify tools and resources to support assessment, selection and implementation of apps.

Who is the seminar and workshop aimed at?

  • Additional Support Needs staff including teachers, Pupil Support Assistants, and sensory impairment specialists.
  • Speech and Language Therapy staff.
  • Health professionals, social care and voluntary sector staff.
  • Support workers.
  • Parents and family members.

Meet your presenter(s)

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.

About the event

  • Duration: 90 minutes, starting at 4:00pm
  • Capacity: Maximum of 20 per workshop.
  • Equipment requirements: Either a Windows PC (or laptop), Mac or tablet device with an internet connection and speakers. Microphone is optional.
  • Weblink for online workshop: This will be emailed to you a week before the event.
  • Preparing for the Webinar: To try and ensure the webinar goes as smoothly as possible for you on the day, we've created a very simple 4 point preparation list that you may wish to follow.


If you have technical problems and are not able to access the Online Learning on the day you will receive an archived recording of the session. No refunds will be given.


Course can be paid for by invoice or debit/credit card.

Card payment: You will recieve an email after your booking from which will contain a payment link.

Invoice: All Authorities are no 'NO PO, NO PAY' so please make arrangements to provide CALL Scotland with a Purchase Order Number from your local authority or school finance system. We will raise an invoice which will be sent directly to your Finance Office.

NB: We will be on the PECOS system as: The University of Edinburgh and NOT CALL Scotland (this is because we use the University's finance systems).