In preparation for the 13th AGOSCI National conference, here’s my scoop on some of the innovative papers being presented.

Established in 1981, AGOSCI an inclusive group interested in enhancing the participation of all people with complex communication needs. AGOSCI’s vision is that people with complex communication needs participate fully in all aspects of life. AGOSCI also aims to build the capacity of society to achieve that vision.

Its members include individuals with no speech or speech that is difficult to understand, family and community members, teachers, speech pathologists and other professionals.

Here are my tips on what’s hot at AGOSCI this year.

1. Key note and guest speakers

AGOSCI has a stellar line-up of Australian and international speakers. Lois Cameron and Nicki Ewing from Scotland will be sharing their expertise in the use of Talking Mats and are even providing a pre-conference workshop. Dr. Cathy Binger from the University of New Mexico will be presenting on partner training for people living and working with people who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). She will also run a pre-conference workshop, a plenary speech and be available to discuss her research.

Dr. Cathy Binger

Professor Jacinta Douglas, speech pathologist and neuro-psychologist, will present a plenary session on the impact of a communication disability on friendships and relationships.

Professor Jacinta Douglas

And finally, Fiona Given who is a lawyer and a person who lives with a communication disability and relies on a communication device as her primary means of communication. She will be presenting a paper and conducting a forum for people who use communication aids.

Fiona Given

2. Trade displays

The 2017 AGOSCI conference will have an outstanding trade display area with all the major technology companies and organisations represented: Zyteq; Talking Mats; Liberator; Link Assistive; Communicate AT; Assistiveware; CPEC; Yooralla; Scope; Cerebral Palsy League; ISAAC; Pyramid Global Australia (PECS); Key Word Sign Australia and Clickability.

3. Presentations

This year’s papers cover the lived experience of having a communication disability, research to support the evidence base behind professional practice and best practice for assessment and intervention strategies. Papers and posters are focused on children and adults, aided options and unaided options including the use of Key Word Sign, technological and non-technological solutions and much more. .

If you can only get to one conference this year then this is the one to be at!

Karen Bloomberg is a Speech Pathologist at Scope’s Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre (CIRC) and is the chairperson of the AGOSCI National conference 2017.

If you would like more information on AGOSCI, contact Scope’s Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre on 03 9843 2000 or circ@scopeaust.org.au

 

Blogs coming soon: ‘Talking to kids with Talking Mats’, ‘Speak Up and be Safe from Abuse’, and ‘You can make Key Word Sign happen in your workplace’.