Two conferences – Two continents : #ASHA2011 and #SPAconf2012 – Workshop Outcomes will be posted here

Wednesday 27th June 2012 – Speech Pathology Australia National Conference, Hobart, Tasmania.

Title: AAC Communication in Hospital: Adults with Developmental Disability and Complex Communication Needs

The aim of this workshop is to build upon the findings of recent research to develop actions pertinent to community-based and hospital-based speech pathologists in the support of adults with developmental disability who use AAC. Outcomes of the workshop will include ‘top 10 strategies’ for improving preparedness for communication to overcome several common barriers to communication in hospital.

The workshop will include presentation of the findings of recent research (15 minutes), small group discussions of groups considering either pre-hospital or in-hospital actions that might be taken to improve communication (30 minutes), large group development of policy, practice and procedural strategies to improve communication for this vulnerable group in hospital (30 minutes), and directions for future research and training to empower clinicians in all settings towards removing environmental barriers to communication in hospital (15 minutes).

Results of previous research will be integrated with the clinical experiences of workshop participants to build ‘evidence based policy’ and practice in supporting adults with developmental disability who use AAC. The results of this workshop will be published and available freely online for the future use by clinicians who seek to improve communication in hospital for adults with developmental disability.

We expect that clinicians in both hospital and community settings will contribute valuable insights on the clinical implications of our program of research exploring barriers to and strategies for better communication in hospital. Participants will have an increased understanding of the evidence base and directions for future practice and policy that might improve hospital experiences for many patients in hospital who struggle to communicate.

Notes from #ASHA2011

BEFORE hospital: communication inventory, gesture communication, create generic tools, contact with healthcare team member, referral to SLP department at hospital, priority pre-admission interview, provide parents with advocacy info, call ahead of time, students can make procedure boards and pictures, creating medical communication ‘passport’.

IN hospital: creating communication boards, use of visuals, nursing staff being a bridge to communication, having contact numbers for SLP in the community, knowing about triggers to upset/behaviour/stimulation, use of schedules, issue of handover, safety, interests, topics, regulating activities, small communication aids.

ENVIRONMENT: audits, checklists, implmentation science, training others on Standards, electronic medical record, communication as a competency,¬†having ‘champions’ in the system.

Ideas coming from Twitter for Apps for Interaction with Adults

I asked the Twitterverse for the names of apps as ideas for inclusion in our ‘Communication Enrichment in Aphasia’ research project, run through the Communication Disability Centre at the University of Queensland. This is the resulting list! I cannot comment on any of the apps, I am just putting it here in case others want to see the responses in one place. Thanks for all of the contributors, especially @tactustherapy and @therabees who ran hot on ideas at the same time: (Apologies if the names/spelling of apps is incorrect – inclusion is not endorsement). Also, contact me if you can think of any others! Inclusion on this list does not indicate inclusion in our research – it’s just a list.


Bejeweled, Where’s My Water, Cut the Rope Experiments
TicTacToe, Checkers, Connect4, SimonSays, TaptheFrog, PaperToss, FruitNinja, MatrixGame, Chess, Solitaire lists of apps
Logo Quiz
Word Games, look for word searches, 7 Little Words, Chictionary, DoodleFind, Word Shaker, DrawSomething, Scrabble
Language: MyPlayHome, More Grillin’, CookieDoodle, Conversation Cards, You’re Only Old Once, Video Time Machine
2-player: Awesome Memory, Air Hockey, Bag Game, Hangman, as well as others mentioned.


footy flick, retro pinball, pipe roll, labyrinth, star walk, google earth, RTA NSW, ABC (podcasts etc), SMH online, Saving yellow
line birds, office jerk and Spark- great for conversation starters:)
sticky notes too! And I use weather from SMH

Aphasia therapy apps–Apps-to-Aid-Aphasia.htm