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Posted on August 22, 2023

We’re at Communication Matters

We are delighted to share that we are once again attending The Communication Matters global AAC Conference, taking place from 10 – 12 September at the University of Leeds. CM is the UK’s version of ISAAC and the largest annual conference dedicated to AAC in the country.

We’re looking forward to showcasing the next generation of Smartbox AAC devices coming this autumn, and an exciting AI art tool. AT trainer Kiera will host Smartbox Academy drop-ins. You can also win a copy of Look Lab in our competition! Come and see us at stand 17.

With our fingers on the pulse of the industry, we’re presenting buzzworthy topics, sure to capture your attention – details in this post and full programme below.

View the programme

Introducing our speakers


Smartbox talks

In addition to our exhibition stand, we are presenting two supplier talks where we’ll be sharing our latest innovations.

The next generation of lightweight communication aids from Smartbox

Adam Waits (Head of Assessment), Simon Poole (Technical Director)

Monday 11 Sept: 3:00 – 3:45

Grid for iPad being used in schools

In this talk, you will learn how our latest product has been designed and tested for AAC users, by AAC users. Discover how feedback helped create the best specification device, for accessible communication on the move. Learn about all the features before launch, and experience Grid on the most durable and lightweight device from Smartbox. 

Building eye gaze skills with Look Lab

Trevor Mobbs (AT Resources Manager), Becky Martin (SLT & Clinical AAC Specialist)

Tuesday 12 Sept: 9:55 – 10:40

an eye gaze user with a Grid Pad, developing eye gaze skills on the guitar activity

We will demonstrate a selection of Look Lab activities and the skills that they help to build. We will also look at the broad range of users that Look Lab is suitable for, covering different age groups, levels of experience and motivations. You will also learn more about options available to customise the user experience. 

Smartbox talks in the main conference

Smartboxers are participating in the main conference, presenting research on various topics which you can read more about below.

Let’s talk about mental health (workshop)

Daisy Clay (SLT & Head of Content Development), Anita Kirby (AAC Content Specialist), Carrys Sinclair (Content Assistant)

Tuesday 12 Sept: 9:00 – 9:45a man using an AAC device while enjoying a cup of coffee

Recent research indicates that the rate of mental health issues is much higher among those with complex communication needs.  This group are more likely to experience abuse, stress, anxiety, and ableism, which can contribute significantly to mental health issues. This workshop explores how we can best support AAC users to discuss their mental and psychological health in Grid.

Approaching accessible user experience (UX) design for AAC software (lightning talk)

James Reichelt (UX/UI Design Lead)

Tuesday 12 Sept: 11:20 – 12:05

This talk will highlight some of the ways to approach this design challenge, including explorative techniques and the importance of involving AAC users within the design process. While Smartbox products will be used to demonstrate these concepts, the focus will be on the design process.  

Supporting Gestalt communicators who use AAC

Speakers: Daisy Clay (SLT & Head of Content Development), Becky Martin (SLT & Clinical AAC Specialist)

Tuesday 12 Sept: 12:15 – 13:00

Smartboxer Becky Smiling, with Smartbox banner in the office

Becky and Daisy will explore natural language acquisition and the way in which this happens for a Gestalt language processor. They will also provide practical ideas on how you can support a Gestalt Language processor who uses AAC. The talk is designed for beginners and is intended to share useful tips to get you thinking.

Join in the conversation

This year’s theme is back to the future, keep an eye out on the community for pictures to send you back in time. Post your Smartbox memories in the Facebook Community.

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