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Developing the Early Literacy and Writing Skills of Learners with ASN and Communication Difficulties

Literacy is a fundamental skill in life and with the right support, tools and teaching, every pupil can learn to read and write.

So, how can we ensure that learners with complex additional support needs and communication difficulties reach their literacy potential in school and at home and their local community?

This online learning workshop will demonstrate a range of Assistive Technology tools which can help you successfully deliver teaching strategies for shared reading, early writing and alphabetic and phonological awareness. We will also explore a variety of access methods for use by learners with physical disabilities. These tools will enable you to help your learners develop their literacy skills to both access the curriculum and engage in meaningful and functional communication.



24th March 2022
University of Edinburgh

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

What you will learn

  • Strategies for teaching reading and writing to learners with complex additional support needs
  • The rationale for using Assistive Technology to raise attainment in reading and writing
  • Assistive Technology tools for both curricular access and functional communication
  • Alternative access methods to these Assistive Technology tools, for learners with physical disabilities.
  • Ready-made resources available to use with your learners.

Who is the seminar and workshop aimed at?

  • ASN and Class Teachers
  • NQTs
  • Support for Learning Assistants
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists

Meet your presenter(s)

Joanna Courtney
Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

She has 18 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.

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).