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Dawn House celebrate European Day of AAC

At the beginning of March 2018, staff and students at Dawn House School celebrated the CPLOL (the umbrella organisation of European Speech and Language Therapists) European Day of AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). A student and a Teaching Assistant from Dawn House School designed the poster below which was voted by other SLTs throughout Europe to be the poster used for the awareness raising day.

AAC is used by children and adults for a number of reasons. AAC could be the use of Makaton signing for children who are not developing or need to supplement their talking. It could also be a sophisticated electronic computer that recognises where a person’s eye is pointing to enable them to speak. Stephen Hawking used an AAC device which he controlled from muscles in his cheeks.

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists support CPLOL who celebrate their birthday each year by choosing a speech, language or swallowing difficulty. This year the focus was on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).

At Dawn House School, the therapy team conducted an interactive assembly for all students and staff. It was great fun, there was the opportunity to draw a picture following instructions from a person who couldn’t talk, videos of Stephen Hawking, introduced by a student who uses an AAC device and the whole school sang Happy Birthday to a student who was celebrating his 18th birthday (This was done using signing alongside the singing).

Next year’s European Day is focussing on Autism Spectrum Conditions and we look forward to getting involved again to raise awareness and learn more about different speech, language and communication needs.