Name of organisation:
What does your organisation do?
Communication Matters is committed to supporting people of all ages who find communication difficult because they have little or no clear speech. Its vision is a world where all individuals have a right to a 'voice' through the provision of equipment and ongoing support services.
Communication Matters, established in 1986, is a UK wide membership-run charitable organisation which is concerned with the AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) needs of people of all ages and ability. Uniquely Communication Matters membership includes: people who use AAC, their families, professionals, third sector organisations and commercial companies.
Communication Matters undertakes work in the following areas:
• Education and training
• Information Services
• Increasing awareness
• Networking and influencing
• Research and Data coordination
• National Standards
• Governance and business development
It has an ambitious programme of activities accessible to all:
• Road Shows: a national programme of days, run in partnership with commercial members, to ensure access to the latest high and low AAC developments across the UK.
• Conference: annual national conference for people who use AAC, family members, and professionals, provides a forum for exchange of good practice and networking between professionals and users of AAC.
• Study Days: expert training days in specific areas of interest and 'hot topics' in AAC.
• Publications: information leaflets, range of journals, books and DVD.
• E-News: the latest news on AAC, delivered monthly by email.
• AAC Forum: provides an online sharing of practical ideas and support around AAC with others online.
• Small Grant Provision: supporting not-for-profit projects that further the aims of Communication Matters.
• Research: undertaking ground-breaking AAC research projects. Currently supported by a BLF grant.
• Service Delivery: ongoing projects on service standards and mapping.
Importantly Communication Matters has international links with ISAAC (International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication). There are 14 National Chapters of ISAAC, co-ordinated by a Secretariat based in Canada, and Communication Matters is one of its most active Chapters. ISAAC is recognised by the United Nations as an NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation), and has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.