Communication Matters celebrates success

The charity made two significant announcements at this year’s conference hosted by the University of Leeds.

Communication Matters were delighted to host their Communication Matters Conference 2018, in partnership with MEETinLEEDS, at the University of Leeds in September. The charity made two significant announcements throughout the conference.

Communication Matters are a charitable organisation committed to supporting people who find communication difficult because they have little or no clear speech, through the provision of specialist equipment and on-going support services, throughout the whole of the UK. During their annual conference at The University of Leeds, which saw 400 guests attend this year, the charity made two surprise announcements.

Since January 2017, Communication Matters have been developing a nationwide pilot project, which they hope will change the way that people with communication difficulties will lead their lives forever. In a grand unveiling at the conference, the charity revealed their plans, complete with a brand new logo which they aim to make as recognisable as other existing disability access symbols across the UK.

The new logo, funded by the John Ellerman Foundation, will be available to be displayed in local businesses and organisations of all types, from hospitality and catering through to administration and events management industries. The presentation of the symbol will indicate that the space is accessible for people with communication difficulties. As part of the scheme, the charity have been working with the University of Leeds to run trial training workshops for staff who want to improve their customers service skills and increase the inclusivity and accessibility within their workplace.

Along with the announcement of the pilot project, Communication Matters also presented two awards in memory of inspiring people from the field of AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication), and announced the launch of the ‘AAC Awards’ Ceremony, which will take place next year. The AAC Awards aim to highlight the achievements of individuals in the world of AAC who have influenced the lives of others through their work or artistic skills.

The first ever AAC Awards will be held at the University of Leeds, in partnership with MEETinLEEDS on the 11th October 2019, which falls during the national AAC Awareness month. The organisations promise it to be a glitzy event, complete with fabulous entertainment, food, drink and of course, a celebration of the wonderful work of the AAC community. To celebrate the announcement, the Parkinson building at the University of Leeds was lit up in blue and yellow throughout the duration of the conference.

Ruth McMorran, Co-Chair of Communication Matters, commented: “We are thrilled that the conference was so successful, and that we were able to use this dedicated space to announce our two projects. We are so passionate about the new logo, and we can’t wait to host the AAC Awards in 2019.”

Harriet Boatwright, Sales and Marketing Manager at MEETinLEEDS, commented: “We are very proud to have been awarded the Early Adopter status for the Communication Access symbol. Our commitment to the users of AAC extends beyond just providing the right venue for their conference, it focuses on how we can provide an even better and more accessible experience year on year.  We work alongside the team at communication matters, not only as client and venue but as co-hosts, to ensure we offer so much more than just the venue to this amazing organisation and to the attending delegates.”