Highlights from AGOSCI National conference 2017

Highlights from the CIRC team

Here are the CIRC team’s highlights from the event:

1. Team members Denise West and Lisa Ho winning awards

Denise received the Services to AAC in Australia award, intended to honour an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to our industry.

Lisa was awarded the Community Award for ISAAC which she received for advancing the use and acceptance of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) in the community.

We are very proud of our amazing colleagues!

2. The Talking Mats™ pre-conference workshop and presentation

Lois Cameron and Nicki Ewing presented on Talking Mats™, a symbol- based communication tool that assists adults and children to express their preferences, explore issues, understand a topic, and accomplish topic maintenance. The presenters highlighted the practical uses of Talking Mats especially as a tool that could be used for NDIS planning.

3. Enhancing communication development through AAC for students with CVI CCN – Kathleen Lonne

Red Hill Special School in Brisbane are shifting staff attitudes by implementing their whole-school communication plan that includes: respecting all communication attempts, managing behaviour through better communication, supporting the process of communication, and providing resources to support the development of communication skills. We’re excited to see what will happen next for this pioneering school!

4. A whole school based approach to AAC: Curriculum, Play and Personal Care – Sarah McKenzie

Kilparrin Teaching and Assessment School are creating a communication learning community, which includes an afterschool program for staff to learn how to use AAC with students with complex communication needs.

5. The Long Journey – Creating a Communication Community – Kerrie Mclean

Narbethong State Special School are the state-wide centre for vision impairment in Queensland and are working to create a language learning environment for students and staff. In a period of six months, this school has progressed from having 20% of students with an established yes/no system – to a staggering 80% of the school population! Outstanding results! They’re now documenting how each student initiates communication and are beginning to see a school-wide cultural shift in staff attitudes.

6. Unlocking abilities: Developing touch, switch and eye gaze skills – Amy Litton

Amy presented the idea of ‘multimodal access’. Just like we understand the notion of ‘multimodal communication’, ‘multimodal access’ supports the idea that a student can develop skills using a range of access methodologies to communicate. What a great way to step back and holistically consider each individual, their current access goals and set no limitations to how they may communicate.

7. Our trade display

The trade display was a bustling hub of activity across the three days. It was great to meet so many like-minded community members and hear their stories.

Our colourful trade display

8. Hollywood themed dinner

The conference dinner was a great opportunity for conference goers to let their hair down and the Hollywood theme ensure that everyone looked and felt like a movie star.

We have loved being involved in this conference and cannot wait for the next one in 2019!

The CIRC team enjoying the Hollywood theme

If you would like more information on any of the content from our AGOSCI blogs, contact Scope’s Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre on 1300 472 673 or email