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Posted on April 14, 2022

Meet Joe

Joe lives in Gloucestershire with his mum Nikki, dad Nick, and brother Adam.

He has Dystonic Athetoid Cerebral Palsy which affects his movement and communication.

Joe is very friendly and sociable and loves talking with his friends and family. He enjoys trips to the beach, BBQs, travelling on trains, shopping, bowling, yoga and swimming!

His favourite food is cheese and he also loves going out to eat pasta.


Read more about Joe…

Joe’s mum Nikki has answered some of our questions about Joe and how he communicates.

Tell us about how Joe got started with AAC?

Joe’s journey with AAC began at school when his team of SLTs introduced him to AAC. Joe started using paper-based AAC around age 7 and moved on to high tech AAC at age 10. He is now at college and is using full sentences on his Grid Pad, and has started to develop some literacy.

How does Joe communicate?

Joe uses WordPower 100 on his Grid Pad 10s using touch access with a keyguard. His condition means that he has variable dexterity – so the keyguard helps Joe make more accurate selections.

Joe uses a Grid Pad 10s with a keyguard and tough cover

He also uses other forms of communication including sign language, eye pointing, choice making and vocalisations. Joe uses a combination of these techniques depending on where he is and who he’s communicating with.

See how Joe gets his message across using his Grid Pad 10s, alongside a choice making technique.

What does Joe think about Grid?

Joe enjoys the fact that he can quickly navigate around his vocabulary – he has a brilliant memory for where everything is.

He likes asking for new words to be added to his grid set, so his vocabulary is personalised for him. He also uses customised grid sets to help him interact with games and education at college. Symoji has also been a great feature for Joe.

What’s changed for Joe as a result of his communication aid?

As a family, we know him better and we no longer have to guess what he’s thinking. We see his personality!

His Grid Pad also helps him build new relationships – for example when Joe visits a local toy shop, the shop assistants have got to know him over the years – that wouldn’t have been possible without his communication aid.

It’s also given him independence – he can now choose what he wants to watch on YouTube, what he wants to do, and where he wants to go rather than us choosing for him.

Joe ordering lunch (left) and visiting a toy shop (right)

Joe is also able to tell us how he is feeling. He can identify his emotions and knows how to express them. His college has done a lot of work to help him with this and more recently he’s been using Symoji to communicate how he feels.

It’s also great to see how his vocabulary keeps expanding, allowing him to talk about more and more.

AAC has opened up so much for Joe. It’s changed what people think he is capable of.


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We are collecting stories of people who use Grid to show how assistive technology helps people communicate and live more independent lives.

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