Many thanks to Jenny Trott for our new guest blog about her interview with Talking Mats Director, Lois Cameron – Jenny’s video provides some great information about the Talking Mats approach and our original and digital resources:
A year ago I started my YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/jennytrott) as a way of supporting parents and carers with information and inspiration. As a parent of a disabled child myself I knew that one of the best ways to find out things is from other parents, and YouTube was just a different and new way to do that. To date I have published nearly 50 films about subjects ranging from Self Directed Support to Rebound therapy, and including interviews with parents, professionals and disabled people.
Quite early on I knew that I wanted to make a film about Talking Mats. I had used Talking Mats when I worked with people living with dementia, and I knew that my son’s school were using them too. I had seen the benefits of this innovative communication tool but I also knew that many parents and carers didn’t really understand it because they hadn’t been given the right information.
Lois was kind enough to agree to join me in front of the camera, so in April I visited Talking Mats in Stirling with my tripods, microphones and cameras. It can be a bit daunting interviewing someone I’ve not met before but Lois instantly put me at ease and had the great idea of demonstrating a Mat rather than just talking about it. It was so interesting, experiencing using a Mat first hand and it helped to show the viewers what Talking Mats is really about.
You can view the video here: https://youtu.be/Fmyt1fE-_U8
The feedback from the film has been great, both from professionals, parent carers and SLT students; lots of lightbulb moments; “ah, now I get it”!
I am still making films but less frequently as I am now also setting up a social enterprise, Mecoco (www.mecoco.org) here in North Ayrshire. We’ll be offering work experience and volunteering opportunities to disabled people to work alongside us making candles and melts. I am sure Talking Mats will be invaluable in our workshop!
If you’d like to find out more about accessing Talking Mats training take a look here- https://www.talkingmats.com/training/ – we offer a range of options including online, and bespoke training for organisations, as well as advanced courses and specialist seminars for those who have already accessed Talking Mats Foundation Training.