Better Care


Upcoming training

Access to Communication and Technology (ACT) are offering a range of courses to support colleagues working with people with Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Environmental Control (EC) and Computer Access (CA) needs across the Greater West Midlands.

Family members and carers are welcome to apply to attend our courses.

Professionals and paraprofessionals who might be interested in these courses might include but are not limited to Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs), Occupational Therapists (OTs), Teachers, Rehabilitation & Teaching Assistants, Social Workers, Case Managers, Physiotherapists, Specialist Nurses, Managers and teams from Care and Nursing Homes, Doctors,  Early Years Practitioners. Employed/training in statutory, private and third sector settings. 

Our training plan for the year is a mixture of new courses, developed in response to identified local need and courses that have been previously well received and which we still have interest in and for which we are still receiving enquiries about opportunities to attend. 

For further information on any of our courses, including the learning outcomes for that course, or to express your interest in a course, please download the Expression of Interest form for the course you are interested in and e-mail it to:

We are monitoring levels of interest in our courses, to help inform future course planning. If you would be interested in attending a future run of this course, please register your interest here -

To ensure you receive details of future courses, as well as ACT’s regular bulletins, please subscribe to our mailing list by adding your details here -

10/07/18 - Low Tech Symbol Communication Systems

An interactive course to support Speech and Language Therapists and Assistants, Teachers, Teaching Assistants, other practitioners and Family members/ Carers working with people who may require symbol based communication systems, to build their knowledge and skills. 

·         Ways to support the communication and language of people who are unable to use speech as their main form of communication

·         Using low tech symbol based resources as a local team

Expression of interest form – 10/7/18

22/8/18 - Adapting the use of computers and tablets for people with complex disabilities

A practical course aimed at OTs, OT Assistants and OT Students, which may also be of interest to SLTs, Teachers and TAs, Physiotherapists, Therapy Assistants or Personal Assistants.  The course will enable practitioners to develop their knowledge and skills to adapt smart phones, tablets and computers to promote independence in activities of daily living.

Expression of interest form – 22/8/18

13/09/2018 - Cerebral Vision Impairment (CVI) Training Session

3 hour, Cerebral Vision Impairment (CVI) Training Session on 13/9/2018, hosted by ACT. Course places will be funded by ACT and allocated using the expression of interest process. Expressions of interest are invited from:

•           Speech and Language Therapists

•           Teachers

•           Occupational Therapists

Who work with children and young people with Cerebral Vision Impairment (CVI)  and AAC needs, in the West Midlands, working for statutory services.

Expression of interest form - 13/09/18

New Course! 02/10/18 - Assessing and Developing Emerging Communication 

A new course aimed at SLTs, Teachers, OTs, Day Centre Officers and Therapy Assistants, including voluntary sector staff, working with children or adults who either have profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) or remain in a prolonged disorder of consciousness (PDOC) i.e. a vegetative or minimally conscious state (VS or MCS), to develop their skills in assessing and supporting the development of emerging communication. Key aspects of this course are 

·         Ways to assess the communication needs of children or adults who are unlikely to meet the NHS England referral criteria for a Specialised AAC assessment due to their profound and multiple learning disabilities or minimally conscious state  i.e. People who:

   - Do not have a clear discrepancy between their level of understanding and ability to speak

   - Have pre-verbal communication skills

   - Do not have cause and effect understanding

   - Have impaired cognitive skills which prevent them from retaining information on how to use equipment

·         A range of resources (including AAC options) will be discussed / demonstrated to extend the communication of these clients

·         Attendees should come prepared to discuss a client who they are / have worked with

Expression of Interest Form - 02/10/18 

10/10/18 – Text Based AAC - Ways to support the communication and language of literate people who are unable to use speech or handwriting as their main form of communication

This session is for SLTs, OTs, Therapy Assistants and other Practitioners, including education staff and also family members working with adults and children who may require text-based (spelling based) communication aids. The course will consider ways to support direct and indirect access to these solutions and will consider low and high tech options. 

Expression of interest form – 10/10/18

New course! 28/11/18 – Voice and Message Banking - Ways to support people whose speech may deteriorate to explore voice, message and memory banking

This course is aimed at people supporting adults or children with a deteriorating condition that could affect speech.  Example conditions might be MND, MS, Head and Neck Cancer, people with planned ICU admission.

Professionals who would have an interest in this area might include SLTs, OTs and Therapy Assistants. This course is also open to Adults with deteriorating conditions, Family members and Carers.

Expression of interest form – 28/11/18

NEW! 5/12/18 Developing local AAC services Workshop

We invite expressions of interest for this full day workshop, which will support applications for a place. Attendees are likely to be Speech and Language Therapy Leads, Service Leads for AAC services, or others who lead or are developing a service providing professional input for people who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).

Expression of Interest - Developing local AAC services Workshop

We have another date available to run a training course and will plan this later on in the year. We will let you know in good time via the mailing list.

To be added to our mailing list to receive our bulletins, updates on training courses and other useful information, please e-mail

West Midlands AAC Clinical Excellence Network (WM AAC CEN)

The WM AAC Clinical Excellence Network (CEN) has evolved from the previous WM AAC Care Pathway Specific Interest Group (SIG), which ran from 2006.

The CEN supports professionals across the region in their AAC development and networking. It meets 3 times a year in venues around the region. Meetings usually run from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

The CEN is registered with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and welcomes SLTs, OTs, Teachers, other professionals, users of AAC, students and family members/carers.

Meetings are informal and are organised by an elected committee. The meetings include presentations, case studies, news slots updates from manufacturers and suppliers, plus work to keep the WM AAC care pathway updated and live. In the context of the NHS England funding for AAC in 2014-15 and beyond the CEN will seek to support the delivery of AAC in the WM.

Information about forthcoming meetings will be added to the website. ACT can also usually provide information about the next intended date and venue.

WM AAC CEN Dates 2018

The last WM AAC CEN meeting of 2018 will be 14.11.18 at West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre, 91 Oak Tree Lane, Birmingham B29 6JA. 

Please download the flyer by clicking here.

Click here for the Agenda.

2019 Dates

  • 13.3.19
  • 12.6.19
  • 6.11.19

To book a place on the CEN, please contact

Please click on the following link - West Midlands AAC Care Pathway documentation which guides teams to practical ways to make progress and is supported and updated by WM AAC CEN. 

Contact Us

Access to Communication and Technology
West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre
91, Oak Tree Lane
Selly Oak
B29 6JA

Tel: 0121 466 3050
Helpline: 0121 466 3028

Care pathway forms can be
emailed to: