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How Talking Mats has helped me make decisions and supported me to share my views

Speech presented at the launch of new Talking Mats Resources

Hello everyone, my name is Greig McMurchie and I would like to take the opportunity to welcome you all here today. If I look familiar it may be because you recognised me from the original talking mat video, where I had a cameo appearance with the lovely Joan murphy of course that was over ten years ago, and back then I was  much younger and better looking. Joan however is still as lovely as the day I met her.

As you can see, I have been involve in talking mats for many years now, ever since Joan asked me to help her trial a new communication system, that she and her colleague Lois had been developing. My initial thoughts were wow, this sounds really complicated and I was a little bit scared.  But I had known Joan since I was little and I really wanted to see what this new Communication system was all about.

When Joan came to visit me at that Dundas day center, all those years ago, all my fear quickly disappeared, it was really easy. I was able to have my say, and because it was visual I could change my mind also.  I began using talking mats to share my views, opinions and wishes, and before long this system was helping me to make life Changing decisions, such as what I wanted to do with my life once I had finished my college course. In fact you could argue that I am where I am today because of talking mats. And I like to say I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Anyway, that was away back then, and times have move on. About four weeks ago Joan and Lois came to Upper Sprinlands to visit me, and of course show me their wonderful bran new talking mats app. My initial thoughts were this sound fantastic, and when they arrived we had a wee chart and they explained what they had been doing.

I don’t know about everyone else, but when I was a kid a tablet was something you took if you were not feeling too well, an android was a character from a computer game and an apple was something you gave to your teacher to butter them up if you forgot to do your homework. But today all this modern technology is making it easy for everyone to engage creating doorways to all kinds of wonderful stuff. And boy can I say this new talking mats app is all kinds of wonderful.

So after we chatted I got to have a wee play with the new app, I couldn’t believe how easy it was, you were able to just move the pictures around and place them were you want them on the screen.  The New picture sets are fantastic, they are bright colourful and easy to understand.  I also like the way you can enlarge the picture to make it easier to see. And of course the fact that it come already to use. You can even take a photograph and send it to yourself by email. No more printing, cutting out and Velcroing, no more hunting for the camera only to realize the batteries are flat and you can’t use it anyway.  Everything is just nicely packaged. And the fact that it can be used not only on an Ipad but also on a computer makes it even more accessible.

Dare I say I personally felt the new App for me was even easier than the old system; it is quicker, fun and very cool?  Now I just need to persuade Upper springland to Purchase a copy or twelve.


Thank you talking Mats






(Speech at the Launch of the New Talking Mats Resources )