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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 Terri Kelly, Training Support Officer at


06/02/18 - Communication, play and control of technology for children with complex disabilities   

A course enabling Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Teachers, Physiotherapists and Family members/ Carers to develop their knowledge and skills around developing parallel pathways of access and language towards successful high tech AAC. 

  • Ways to support access to communication, play and control of technology for children and young people who have complex disabilities and communication needs
  • Parallel pathways for local teams

Expression of Interest Form – 06/02/18

25/4/18 - 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 - 24/4/18

New Course! 23/5/18 - 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 - 23/5/18

New course! 20/6/18 – Empowering Clients with Complex Disabilities to have Control Over their Environment, Using Bespoke and Commercial Technology

A new course that will be of interest to SLTs, OTs, Physiotherapists, Therapy Assistants, Specialist Nurses, Social Workers and Voluntary Sector Staff. This practical course will enable those supporting clients with environmental control needs to increase their knowledge and skills in this area.

Expression of interest form – 20/6/18

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

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

5/12/18 – Course to be confirmed

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

14/03/2018 - Birmingham City University 



The next meeting of the West Midlands AAC CEN will be held on 14/03/18. Topics to include an update on the IASC project from MMU - Identifying Appropriate Symbol Communication Aids for children who are non speaking: Enhancing Clinical Decision Making. There will be a product and supplier update from Smartbox. 



To book a place on the CEN, please contact Terri Kelly, Training Support Officer 

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: