The Communication Trust Newsletter
June 2011


Hello, the 2011 national year of communication, is a campaign to increase understanding of how important it is for children and young people to develop good communication skills.

The campaign is run by The Communication Trust, a coalition of 40 leading voluntary sector organisations, in partnership with Jean Gross, the Government’s Communication Champion. The campaign is sponsored by BT and Pearson Assessment and is backed by the Department for Education and Department of Health.

This newsletter provides updates on current developments in the world of speech, language and communication and on Hello.

National Family Week - Event this weekend, come and visit our stand!

Families are being invited to visit the Hello zone; an area dedicated to promoting the importance of children's communication development, at National Family Week Live taking place this weekend (4th-5th June 2011) in Chavasse Park, Capital ONE, Liverpool.

Local speech and language therapists from Liverpool Community Health and staff from Granby Children's Centre will be joined over the fun packed weekend by Bookstart representatives and special guest; new CBeebies star, Raa Raa the Noisy Lion.  NFW

The Hello campaign team will be out in force giving away goody bags containing loads of resources including our brand new booklet Small Talk - which is now available to download here.

National Family Week Live will deliver a FREE family fun-weekend with a whole host of entertainment, games, activities and giveaways making for a memorable family outing to mark the end of National Family Week!

Each day families can enjoy a packed entertainment programme and special guest appearances on the main stage. Sportacus from LazyTown (Sunday only) will be getting everyone warmed up with a kicking keep fit routine; plus Dance Dynamix, finalists from Got to Dance 2011, who will explode on to the stage with a unique jaw-dropping act. Families can also get a slice of the stage action by joining in the Generation Game with fantastic prizes to be won and get in the groove with live music from Missing Eden.

See the National Family Week website for more information.

This month's theme - Imagine life for those that struggle

In the UK today, over 1 million children have some form of long term and persistent speech, language and communication need (SLCN). This can affect them severely and for life. Because life can be hard for child with communication difficulties, this June our theme for Hello is ‘Imagine life for those who struggle’. We believe no parent should feel alone or have to fight to ensure their child’s needs are met.

You can help make change happen for children by downloading our ‘You’re the Voice’ campaigning toolkit this June from

By writing to your local MP or local council, you can add your voice to the Hello campaign and help to ensure speech and language is a top priority for decision makers locally and nationally.

If you are concerned about a child’s speech and language, visit Talking Point ( This website contains everything you need to know about supporting children’s speech and language development. Using the new Progress Checker you can identify if a child is having difficulties and then find out what you need to do. You can also search for your nearest speech and language therapy services.

You can also log onto to order or download FREE resources. This includes a new version of Misunderstood, our guide with information about how to support children and young people with SLCN which has now been updated to include information for parents and is available to download.

Useful links this June:

Below are some useful video clips and case studies from our Consortium that bring this months theme to life:

I CAN - parents and professionals 7 minute clip

MENCAP – families stories

NAS - living with autism

Find a Voice

Contact a family  - parent stories

1Voice - made by children and young people

Communication Matters

You can also download the Hello facts and statistics here, with the key figures on SLCN and the Hello resource catalogue here (which contains a list of resources for children of all ages with SLCN.

Get ready, set, go! for the first ever Communication Triathlon

I CAN, working in partnership with Openreach; a BT Group Business has developed the first ever national Communication Triathlon.Ollie

The Communication Triathlon is a series of active and fun-filled events developed to help Primary School children develop their speaking and listening skills using the inspiration of the Olympic Games. The programme, which can be undertaken by a class, year group or whole school over the course of a week or a day, encourages children to take part in three London 2012-themed speaking and listening activities around Thinking, Talking and Teamwork. 

Primary schools can register at to download a pack, including lesson plans, a certificate, and even a chance to win a visit from an Olympic athlete or Paralympian hopeful at their own Closing Ceremony!

The Communication Triathlon is part of Get Set, the official London 2012 education programme.

Small Talk - Latest free resource

Our latest booklet provides information for parents about whatSmall Talk
helps children aged between 0 and 5 learn to talk and listen, whether they are on the right track and what to do if the parents have concerns about their child.

Small Talk has been produced with the support of BT, Hello sponsor..

Please click here to download the booklet.

Printed copies will be available to order by the end of this month so please keep checking


It's time to shine!

The 2011 Hello campaign awards open for entries Shine a Light

The Hello campaign is inviting entrants to take part in the ‘Shine a Light’ 2011 Hello campaign awards for developing children and young people’s communication, launched last month in partnership with Pearson Assessment.

‘Shine a Light’ is the first and only national awards scheme to focus on children and young people’s communication. Twelve awards are available including three ‘Communication Friendly’ awards, three ‘Team of the Year’ awards, an award for ‘Communication Strategy’ and ‘Commissioning’ as well as the ‘Hello Young Person of the Year Award’.

Applications are encouraged from a wide range of settings, professionals and individuals – those who work with children and young people, those responsible for planning children’s services as well as parents and young people.

The winners will be celebrated at the ‘Shine a Light’ 2011 Hello campaign awards ceremony taking place at Pearson’s Head Office in London from 3-6pm on Wednesday 23 November.

Full details of the awards and how to apply can be found at


Conferences and Events in June

ACE Centre North Hello Network Day - 9th June, 9.30am-4 pm

This day will include key speakers in the field of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Assistive Technology, including an update on the ‘Communication Matters: Research Matters’ programme, details of a new course for parents and support staff to facilitate communication using AAC, iPhone/ iPad apps for AAC and accessibility solutions, PODD (Pragmatic Ordered Dynamic Display) communication books and their regular ‘What’s New’ slot bringing people up to speed with the latest technological developments in the field.

Click here to find out more.

Lost for Words? Lost for Life - 15th-17th June

A conference on speech, langauge and communication needs (SLCN) in older children and young people is taking place from the 15th-17th June 2011 at City University. It is being hosted jointly by the Department of Language and Communication Science, City University London, I CAN and Afasic. 

Click here to find out more.

Pre-School Learning Alliance AGM and Exhibition - 17th June

This year’s event celebrates the work of the Pre-School Learning Alliance. It will highlight latest developments in best practice from leadership in the areas of parental involvement and workforce development to their volunteer networks and focus on learning through play.

Click here to find out more.

Hello Information Day - 23rd June, 10am-4pm

This day will include the launch of new video case studies of children who use AAC and a free drop-in to find out more about AAC and Assistive Technology where there will be a wide range of equipment for people to try out and access to specialist professional advice and information from our team of teachers, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists.

This will be held at the Freemasons Hall, Bridge Street, Manchester.

Hello Gala Lunch - 24th June,  12pm-2pm

This celebration of the National Year of Communication will be attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester and local dignitaries and will include presentations from speakers who have used our services.

This will be held at the Freemasons Hall, Bridge Street, Manchester.

Open Morning at Auditory Verbal UK - 24 June

The Open Morning is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in finding out more about the auditory verbal approach to see auditory verbal therapy in action via a live session, and to speak to a family who have chosen listening and spoken language as the communication route for their deaf child.

The Open Morning will be held at their centre in Oxfordshire, there is no charge to attend but places are limited so advanced booking is required.

To find out more, please go to and follow the booking link on the homepage.

'Making a Real Difference' Seminar and Communication Passport Launch - 29th June

Organised by Include Me TOO and delivered in partnership with Wolverhampton University, the Seminar will showcase good practice of partnership working and share research regarding ‘Listening to the voice of families’, amongst other items on the agenda. There will also be a launch of a universal ALL ABOUT ME Communication Passport.

For more information contact 01902 711604 or 01902 399888 or you can email



Charity of the Month - The Children's Trust, Tadworth

The Children’s Trust, Tadworth, provides care, education, therapy and rehabilitation to children with multiple disabilities, complex health needs and acquired brain injury. The charity works with children and young people aged up to 25 from across the UK who have a range of developmental and acquired difficulties, including communication.

Children's Trust Tadworth

The charity’s interdisciplinary team of professionals including a team of speech and language therapists, use a holistic approach to assess and work with children and young people – focusing on function.

The charity is the UK’s largest provider of residential rehabilitation for children with acquired brain injury, working with those who are minimally conscious through to those with more subtle cognitive problems. It also provides community-based support for children and young people who have more ‘hidden disabilities’ as a result of a brain injury and have returned to school but need help and support to enable them to succeed.

The Trust runs one of the few schools in the UK for learners with profound and multiple learning difficulties and complex health needs called The School for Profound Education. The School developed its own curriculum to specially integrate therapy with education within the classroom.

For more information about The Children’s Trust follow them on Twitter, Facebook or visit their website


Other Ways of Speaking - Available to order now

Other Ways of Speaking, a new booklet for parents and professionals that providesOther Ways of Speaking
information on the different ways children and young people with little or no speech communicate, how to support them and where to go for further information and help.

This is a free resource that has been produced by The Communication Trust and Communication Matters with 1 Voice, ACE Centre, ACE Centre North, The Makaton Charity, Scope and Signalong.

Please click here to download or order your free copy.


Hello website


Hello facebook

BT launches new free online fundraising service for UK registered charities

UK registered charities are to receive a much-needed cash injection following the launch of MyDonate –  a new free online charitable fundraising service from BT. It is the first not-for-profit service not to charge a subscription fee, set-up fee or take commission.BT

BT already has a proud history of helping communities with charitable events such as the recent Comic Relief appeal and hopes that the new MyDonate service will significantly boost the online donation market as every penny donated goes direct to charity (excluding credit/debit card charges).

MyDonate provides an easy and safe way for people to raise more money for good causes which will benefit charities and fundraisers up and down the country.

The service is now open to all fundraisers who wish to raise money for charities who are already registered to use MyDonate – while thousands of new charities are being encouraged to sign up.

Find out more at:



Publication of Exemplification of Standards at levels 1 & 2

The Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency have published the Levels 1 and 2 Exemplification of Standards on the National Curriculum website. The materials are organised into files that exemplify national standards at levels 1 and 2 across the nine national curriculum foundation subjects at key stage 3.

At the heart of the materials are 93 new video clips that feature pupils undertaking a variety of activities, from building a bee home to a traveling through time role-play. These films provide a real insight into good assessment practice of pupils, many of whom have special educational needs. The files also support schools in meeting their statutory requirements in inclusion and teacher assessment.

You can access the new materials here. Please note that an up to date flash player is required.

MyChoicePad - New iPad app

MyChoicePad is a new educational iPad app that helps children and adults with learning or communication difficulties make choices and express themselves.  The app has been developed in collaboration with The Makaton Charity and uses Makaton symbols and signs with real sounding speech.  MyChoicePad comes with pre-loaded grid templates which can be personalised for each user.  There are also videos of the signs used in the Makaton Core Vocabulary.MyChoice App

The app has been designed to encourage and improve communication skills and learn new vocabulary.  MyChoicePad is now being used at home, in schools and by speech and language professionals:

"Daisy [is] not so dependent on me. She teaches her sisters, whereas they normally teach her. Daisy feels empowered because she knows more than her sisters, she takes the lead and this is something she has never been able to do before.
Denise, Daisy's mum

"The beauty of MyChoicePad is that it is so multi levelled, we can use it with the most complex needs students and they can access it at a very low level, appropriate to their needs."
Grant Hilditch, Teacher

The app costs £74.99 and can be purchased from the App Store through iTunes. It comes with the Makaton Core Vocabulary and the option to buy additional vocabulary through in-app purchases.

For more information visit or call 01276 606760.

Storyonics School Competition - Judge announced

The Times Children's Fiction winner - Janet Foxley - will judge the Schools Story-Telling Competition. Her book - Muncle Trogg - won the prestigious 2010 prize and was published in January this year. 

Schools can register now for the competition on-line at - just click on the Schools Storyonics link for full details.  Registration takes one minute - a minute that will bring hours of fun and literacy learning to the classroom. 

And there are over £10,000 of educational prizes including 500 free copies of 'Storyonics for PC/Whiteboard' in a prize draw for all participating schools - so the whole class can play 'Storyonics' the story-telling card game. 

News from our members

The Communication Trust is a consortium of 40 voluntary sector organisations. We bring together our expertise to ensure that the speech, language and communication needs of all children and young people are met through signposting specialist training support and guidance to people working with children.

If your organisation would like to become a member of The Communication Trust’s consortium please go to for more information or e-mail

1 Voice - Family Fun Day, Saturday 16th July

AAC users in West Yorkshire are invited to a Family Fun Day, with activities on offer are based on the theme of the Hello Campaign for July  “Skills for Life, Work and Play”

Date: Sat July 16 2011
Date: 10 am – 2pm
Venue: Kingsland School, Stanley, Wakefield, Off Junction 30 M 62
Cost: A contribution of £10 a family

For more information please e-mail

ACE Centre Day Courses in June ACE Centre

The Oxford ACE Centre is running a range of practical day courses in assistive technology and AAC in June.

Teachers will love their On a Shoestring course on Thursday 16 June which looks at budget solutions for switch-adapted toys, low-cost environmental control, and free alternatives to commercial communication software and symbol libraries. There’s also a few places left on their popular Getting it Down on Paper course on Thursday 30 June that looks at how students with physical and communication difficulties can record their work on paper.

Alternatively, grab one of the last places on two courses that are perfect for speech and language therapists: Making sense of eye gaze technology on Tuesday 21 June, and the introductory AAC course Giving people a voice on Tuesday 28 June.

Cost per participant is £160. To book, call 01865 759800 or contact Katharine Buckley at for more details.

The Makaton Charity

The Makaton Charity is now on Facebook and Twitter!  You can Like them here or follow them on Twitter here  They will be sending out regular updates and are sharing Makaton stories. Come and join in!



Hello is sponsored by:

BT and andPearson Assessment

Contact Us

If you would like to contact us please call 0207 843 2550 or email
The Communication Trust, 8 Wakley Street, London, EC1V 7QE


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