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We had a very enjoyable and stimulating day yesterday at our Talking Mats seminar whose theme was ‘Extending the Reach and Use of Talking Mats’. We had 40 participants from throughout the UK and beyond who are all trained in the use of Talking Mats and were delighted that 5 colleagues from Sweden joined us.

The Open Space format of the day allowed plenty of time for connections, discussion, exchange of ideas, learning and laughter.

The participants came up with 8 main themes – four discussed in the morning:
How do we extend the reach of Talking Mats in the assessment process?
•How do we extend the reach of Talking Mats with families and other key players?
•How do we vary the top scale?
•How do we extend the reach of Talking Mats in non-traditional settings

– and in the afternoon:
•Using Talking Mats in research and evaluation
•How can Talking Mats be used in child and adult protection?
•What would family Talking Mats training look like?
•Accredited trainers sharing time

We promise to put the summary from each theme on the blog over the next few weeks!

We finished the day with a lovely meal and more chat…

On 12th June The Scottish Government published:

A Right to Speak: Supporting Individuals who use Alternative and Augmentative Communication

The report provides guidance to be used by people who use Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC), their families, strategic and operational heads within health boards, local authority social work and education departments and the voluntary sector.

At its launch Kim Hartley,the Scotland Officer for the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists welcomed the report and the £4million pounds which Michael Mathieson, the Minister for Public Health, announced would be available to support the recommendations in the document.

We were also pleased to see that Talking Mats was referenced several times in the report as an example of good practice.

The report can be found at

We are delighted to have won the Regional Student Employer of the Year award (SEOTY) for Scotland and Northern Ireland. We will now go foward to the National Awards and will hear the results of this on 18th June.

Many thanks to Anne Marie, our intern, for her nomination – its been great working with her.

7th June: Jane is presenting at the Scottish Institute for Residential Child Care Conference in Glasgow
13, 14,15th June: We have a stand at the National OT Conference at the SECC in Glasgow
14th June: Joan is training in Dublin
15th June: Jane and Margo are running 2nd part of rolling training in Stirling
15th June:  Advisory Group
21st June: Lois is training staff at South Lanarkshire College
25th June: Lois and Sally are running the 2nd part of training in Falkirk
26th June: Lois is training in Birmingham
28th June: Joan is training in London