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Communication Technologies (AAC) and Strategies for Learners with ASN

Communication skills are fundamental to learning and for accessing the curriculum, and with the right resources, support and teaching, everyone can learn to make choices, participate, and have a voice.

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

This online learning workshop will introduce and demonstrate Communication Technology (often referred to as Augmentative and Alternative Communication: AAC). We will explore symbols and other printed resources, such as communication and choice boards, through to simple communication aids, such as the Big Macks and Go Talks. Moving then to more comprehensive aids, such as iPads and apps, and other voice output devices, and introduce different access methods for learners with physical disabilities. We will learn about practical strategies for introducing and supporting their use in school, creating communication opportunities in the school day and developing use within different curricular areas.

This online learning workshop will enable you help your learners develop their communication skills to both access the curriculum more effectively and achieve functional communication outcomes. It would benefit staff from any school implementing a Communication Friendly School approach.



28th April 2022
University of Edinburgh

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

What you will learn

  • The rationale for using AAC to support communication, participation and learning
  • Printed communication resources e.g. symbol boards (low tech AAC)
  • Simple to comprehensive electronic devices, e.g. iPads and AAC Apps (high tech AAC)
  • Best practice and strategies for introducing and supporting AAC in the classroom
  • Alternative access methods for AAC for learners with physical disabilities
  • Ready-made resources available to use with your learners and support your professional learning in AAC

Who is the seminar and workshop aimed at?

  • ASN and Class Teachers
  • NQTs
  • Pupil Support Assistants
  • Early Learning and Childcare Practitioners
  • Speech and Language 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).