ACE Centre events will share expertise

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The UK’s nationally acclaimed ACE Centre is organising three events in October and November to pass on expertise on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Assistive Technology (AT)

The first two events — AAC Service Days — will take place at Hollinwood Business Centre, Oldham on 13 October and at The Ark Centre, Basingstoke on 20 October.

The one-day events (9.30am-3.30pm) will bring together teachers, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and other AAC and AT professionals from across the North West and Thames Valley & Wessex regions to explore existing and emerging local AAC provision with local commissioners.

Attendees will be able to hear about the challenges and benefits of accessing local AAC provision, the emerging AAC services in their area and take part in a Q&A session with a panel that includes a commissioner of a local AAC service, a specialised AAC service manager and an end-user.

The third event — an ACE Centre Network Day — will take place on 3 November 2016 between 9.00 am and 4.00 pm at Longparish Village Hall, Andover.

This event will offer teachers and health professionals and families the opportunity to hear from specialists on the four blocks approach to literacy for children with complex communication needs, gain advice on what to consider when matching communication needs with access to AAC/AT, and find out about the latest developments in the field of AAC.

Mike Clarke from University College London will be talking about the Functional Near Vision Screening in Young Children with Cerebral Palsy tool while representatives from the Motor Neurone Disease Association will be advising attendees on where to get support at a national and regional level for those with MND.

This event costs £25 for parents, guardians, carers and users of ACE products and £85 for schools, occupational therapists, speech and language professionals and other experts or suppliers.

AAC encompasses the different methods of communication that can be used to help people with speech disabilities solve everyday communicative challenges. Assistive Technology refers to the equipment, software, program or systems that can be used to increase, maintain or improve the capabilities of individuals with communication and learning difficulties.

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Special World, from Inclusive Technology, is a free website linking 125,000 special education teachers, speech therapists and occupational therapists in 150 countries. Special World readers and contributors work with children who have additional needs or special educational needs including those with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties and disabilities.

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