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Posted on September 22, 2022

As you may have seen on our social media, last week we attended the Communication Matters International AAC Conference at the University of Leeds, where we delivered a range of talks on our latest developments in AAC, including using personalised voices, improved eye gaze and a headtracking masterclass. Read all about our speakers here.

A peek of what we got up to at CM2022

Meeting the AAC community

Smartboxers enjoyed meeting AAC users and professionals alike to answer everyone’s questions about Smartbox devices and software. We shared a preview of our latest eye gaze technology, and had fun showing off some of the various accessible games available in Grid 3.

See what else Smartboxers got up to in our latest reel on Instagram.

Two images side-by-side. Image 1 shows a wheelchair user looking at a Smartbox device mounted to their wheelchair. Image 2 shows a man looking at a Smartbox device with eye gaze.
Smartboxers Becky and Graeme meet guests using eye gaze at our stand at the Communication Matters conference 2022.

Conference highlights

We shared a range of supplier talks by Smartbox and participated in the main conference. Some highlights included Dana Cappel delivering her Smartbox-sponsored talk on IssieEd, using Grid for iPad f0r students at the Beit Issie Shapiro School for Special Education in Israel. IssieEd is an approach which uses Grid to deliver educational content and current events, across the entire school. Dana’s talk about their inclusive approach was met with a round of applause. Read more about IssieEd here.


A lady with curly hair presenting a talk with a powerpoint behind her. People sat on chairs watch her.
Dana Cappel from the Beit Issie Shapiro School delivering her talk at the Communication Matters conference 2022.

Smartboxers Jay, Trevor and James also presented on the future of the eye gaze experience in Grid, from our recent learnings of the common barriers eye gaze users face.

A man on a stage in front of a screen.
Smartboxer Jay presenting a talk at the Communication Matters conference 2022, on eye gaze technology.

The sustainability theme

This year’s Communication Matters conference focused on the theme of sustainability, a hot topic as organisations tackle the issues caused by rising global temperatures, unequal communities and harmful acts against the environment. The conference sought to be more sustainable by making commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, removing single-use plastic from the event and playing a positive role in the community.

Preloved fancy dress

This also extended to a fancy dress theme of ‘preloved’ for the Monday night conference dinner, where attendees came together to reduce, reuse, and refuse fast fashion. Smartboxers went green and on theme in fancy dress, as climate change activists.

A group of Smartbox employees dressed up as Extinction Rebellion protestors, holding up carboard protest signs.
Smartboxers dressed in fancy dress as climate change activists, in support of the conference theme of sustainability.

New All About Sustainability grid set

Naturally, we created a grid set for this theme to help AAC users join in the conversation about sustainability, the environment, and the planet. We included a range of topics to unearth, including recycling, single-use plastic and deforestation. Try this grid set, available in Online Grids.

A green and grey background with a graphic of the earth in a pair on hands on it. There is also a screenshot of a grid set page which reads: landfill, glass, paper, and reuse. The image also reads 'available in Online Grids', 'Grid' and 'New!'.
The All About Sustainability grid set, available in Online Grids.

Get involved with the community!

In our Facebook community you can connect with other users and find tips to get the most out of Grid. You can also share your knowledge and favourite grid sets to help others communicate about the things that matter most to them.

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