Category Archives: App

Adding your own images to the Digital Talking Mats

talking_mats_app

We have received a number of requests to create a guide to adding your own images and creating submats with Digital Talking Mats and this blog will show you how.

One of the features of Talking Mats is that we have developed a number of different symbol resources based on our research and clinical practice which cover a wide range of topics.
However, sometimes you may want to personalise what is being communicated about by adding your own images. You may also want to create a submat to explore an existing topic in more detail or you may want to create a completely new topic. In our training courses we explain how to do this when using the original Talking Mats.

However more and more people are now using the digital version of Talking Mats. In a previous blog we described how to add your own photos to the Digital Talking Mats.

We have now made a guide to help those who have the digital version to both add their own images and to create a submat with an example of a sub-mat with the topic “office”.

Download the following pdf to find out how to do it. dtm-a-guide-how-to-add-photos

We would love to hear any stories about making your own digital submats

Work with adults ? Top 10 Talking Mats blogs

internship_and_studies_yellow

What are the top 10 blogs for using Talking Mats with adults? Over the years we have posted lots of blogs on different aspects of our framework . If you are working with adults with communication disability these blogs maybe particularly helpful

  1. Where is the best place to start using the Talking Mats health and well-being resource? 
  2. A blog from Denmark which highlights the effectiveness of using Talking Mats with people with dementia
  3. Goal setting with a woman with Multiple sclerosis  
  4. Using the  app with someone with aphasia 
  5. The development of a resource to help people with learning disability raise concerns 
  6. How can Talking Mats support Capacity to make decisions
  7.  Involving  people in their decisions about eating and drinking 
  8. Thoughts on using Talking Mats with people with dementia to explore mealtimes 
  9. Using Talking Mats with someone with a learning disability and dementia
  10. Use  in a rehab setting in South Africa 

If you want to explore our  resource and training more  please visit our shop

Building the Digital Talking Mats

vid-thumb-2

We are delighted that Nick Stewart, Director, Software and Products with Arum Systems, the IT Consultancy who have built the Digital Talking Mats has chosen TM as his favourite project for a case study.

AAC  for all

Here is an extract from his case study describing the Challenge and Process of working with Talking Mats.

 The Challenge
The challenge was taking the existing physical Talking Mats tool and building a digital application suitable for multiple platforms, while maintaining the core ethos of the tool. A significant amount of academic research went into creating the physical product and those principles had to be present in a digital version. The applications had to be extremely intuitive to use and enable better conversations for people with communication difficulties.
The aim was to create 3 digital versions; a browser based version for laptop users and a tablet version for iPad users and Android users. Each application would connect to a cloud server, allowing users to log in from any device, and the tablet versions would allow offline working through syncing with the cloud when a connection was available. There was a requirement to set up a multi-tiered subscription based user account system to match the intended charging model for the digital app.
Our Process
Arum’s approach was to totally immerse ourselves in the Talking Mats business to understand their goals, ethos and objectives. We took time to learn how the Talking Mats ecosystem worked and how they wanted to engage with their customers. By applying our 3D Methodology we were able to break down the deliverables into phases allowing the key building blocks to be delivered first. This also allowed the best use of budget and reduced the time to market the new product.

To read the full case study click here Arum Talking Mats Case Study

EHC Plans with the Talking Mats app

Digital Talking Mat ehcp

Sophie Mitchell SLT describes how she supported her students to develop their EHC Plans with the Talking Mats app .

In September 2014 our  team and I were asked to facilitate the production of Education and Health Care plans for the Year 14 students at the Secondary Special School (for adolescents with complex, profound and multiple learning difficulties) where we  are based. As Speech and Language therapists we were asked to work with the students to gain their view on what they would like to be detailed in their plan and also what their aspirations were for their future. We wanted to ensure the production of these plans were as client centred as possible so therefore decided to use the Talking Mats App on the Ipad using the Health and Wellbeing resource.  This resource proved invaluable when working with our students. Not only were our students highly motivated to participate in the sessions due to the Ipad being used, talking mats empowered them to make meaningful decisions about their future, communicate any areas where they would like further support and discuss likes and dislikes. The impact on our students became clear when working with one 19 year old student. Although he did not have any spontaneous expressive language and would only echo things said by others, during a Talking Mats sessions when talking about his likes and dislikes, he appeared to be placing most items under ‘dislike’.  As the session went on the student started to appear agitated, then started pointing towards ‘like’ although no symbol was presented. Suddenly the student said ‘Garden’, still pointing towards the ‘like’. When presented with a gardening symbol he soon placed this under ‘like’. This information was then presented in his plan and his college were instructed to explore opportunities for this student to develop his gardening skills. For all students this information was then used to not only create their Education and Health Care plan but also expand and explore areas they were highly motivated by while still at School and also identify possible work placements for the future.  Furthermore the School invested in Talking mats training to ensure this approach is used throughout each academic year and school staff are skilled to use Talking Mats as each student starts their assessment for their Education and Health Care plan.

We would like to thank Sophie who is from Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS trust  for such a great example of how to use the app in EHC Planning . If you are interested in purchasing the digital Talking Mat then please phone the office 01786479511. We are just changing the purchasing model from subscription to one off sale so its temporarily removed from the web site.

Winner in Digital Health Awards

Digital Talking Mats Digital Badge

We are delighted to be a Winner in the People Driven Digital Health Awards which were held in Leeds on Friday 3rd July. These awards were instigated to recognise the work of digital health innovators from across the UK and aim to connect the people who have ideas and make them happen.

The event was organised by mHabitat  and compered by a well known health commentator, Roy Lilley, of the Academy of Fabulous Stuff. The evening was full of fun and energy and we met lots of interesting people and made good connections. There is loads going on in digital health and services should make use of all these fabulous innovations that will improve people’s lives and health services. To get a flavour of the evening follow #PDDAwards15 and to find out about the other winners click here.

Our category, ‘the most impressive third sector digitally enabled service’ recognises third sector services which have embedded digital tools and services into improving people’s experience and outcomes. We very honoured to win this category with our digital Talking Mat. The announcement of the winners was followed by a flurry on Twitter which you can dip into here .