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Free resources

As a result of our research on communication disability we have developed a number of useful templates and resources which we wish to provide as ‘free stuff’ to anyone working with people with communication disability. They include:

Templates and Tools

  • Being Included – this is a free bolt on designed to be used in forensic setting with the Talking Mats  Keeping Safe resource.
  • Guidelines for working towards using Talking Mats – These guidelines are designed to support Talking Mats trained practitioners working with thinkers who may need to take extra steps to work towards using the Talking Mats framework
  • AAC service Evaluation script and symbols – This Talking Mats resource was funded by the Scottish Government Right to Speak initiative to enable AAC users to give feedback on their services.
  • Dementia Communication Difficulties Scale – this tool was developed during one of our research projects to help identify the communication difficulties that a person with dementia might be having
  • SUST 2017 (Stirling Understanding Screening Tool) – this tool was developed in order to provide a quick way to gauge the comprehension level of adults with a communication difficulty.
  • EFFC 2016 (Effectiveness Framework of Functional Communication) – this is a simple but helpful tool to measure the effectiveness of an interaction between 2 people. It’s particularly helpful if a video recording has been made of the interaction.
  • Resolution pics  Do you want to think about your New Year’s resolutions? A fun way to use Talking Mats  with friends and family
  • TM Symbols and prompt for MCQ Use Talking Mats to support completing a mystery customer questionnaire to feedback on your experience in shops or services as part of the National Communication Access project
  • Embedding TM in practice template – this can be use to plan and record who you use Talking Mats with.
  • Talking Mats reflection template – this can be used to reflect on how the Talking Mats session went. It can be helpful to use it alongside the Talking Mats report template.
  • Talking Mats report template – this can be used to record your Talking Mats session and detail action points.
  • Visual CARE Measure – this is an adapted version of the CARE Measure which can be used to assess patients’ views of practitioners’ communication and relational empathy abilities.
  • Visual CARE Measure information sheet
  • Paediatric CARE Measure – this is a shortened version of the Visual CARE Measure for consulting children and young people with cognitive difficulties, or children with communication difficulties.
  • Paediatric CARE Measure information sheet
  • Paediatric CARE Measure Guidance for AHPs

Learning  Resources 

  • Making Communication Even Better This is a free education resource for staff to consider the impact of communication difficulties on services . There are lots of videos of people with communication disability reflecting on their experiences :what works well and what does not . It was funded by NHS education Scotland and Talking Mats helped facilitate and produce the resource.
  • Promoting Inclusion and Participation This is a free education resource for staff working with children and young people who use alternative and augmentative communication . There are lots of videos of real life examples of how AAC promotes or hinders inclusion – lots of material for reflection and discussion – great for group learning.  It was funded by NHS Education Scotland  and Talking Mats helped facilitate and produce the resource.

Talking Mats and Occupational Therapy Resources

  • TMOT personalised care  Rachel Woolcomb, Talking Mats OT Associate, writes about how Talking Mats can help OTs to make Personalised Care a reality.
  • Goal setting TMOT 2  Rachel Woolcomb, Talking Mats OT Associate, shares how Talking Mats can help facilitate shared decision making and goal setting.
  • TMOT3 Reflective practice Talking Mats as a reflective practice tool to support supervision


AAC Poster RCSLT Conference September 2019 Charlotte Phillips and Laura Douglas, SLTs at Blossom House School, New Malden, present their work looking at how Talking Mats are used to support self-advocacy through goal-setting within the context of a specialist school for children with SLCN.

Lanarkshire SLT SEBN Poster 2019  and Lanarkshire SEBN Project Summary Lynn Blair (SLT) and her colleagues in North Lanarkshire present a project in which they used Talking Mats to gather the thoughts of secondary-aged pupils with social, emotional and behavioural support needs.  September 2019

2019 Embracing the paradigm shift pdf  Assisted Decision Making  (Capacity) Act 2015: Embracing the Paradigm Shift – Mary Walsh, Senior SLT & Aideen Lawlor, SLT Manager, St Mary’s Hospital, Dublin.  Presented at the Irish Gerontological Society Conference in Cork, September 2019.

2017 TM mythbusters

2017 TM and Advance Care Planning (Strathcarron Hospice)

2017 Voice of the Child (NHS Barnet, Enfield & Haringay)

2017 TM and Capacity

2017 Person Centred Approach to Healthcare Planning (CLCH)

2016 Views of Older People with Communication Need (Healthcare Improvement Scotland)

2016 Patient feedback using Visual Care Measure (Queen Elizabeth University Hospital)

2016 Mealtimes and Dementia

2016  TM – A tool for People with Dementia to Express their Views

2016 TM in Interim Care and Long Stay Hospital Settings( NHSGGC)

2015 Keeping Safe