Winter Lecture at the University of Manchester

Telling Tales : Unlocking the Potential of AAC Technologies.

Tomorrow’s Winter Lecture at the University of Manchester by the International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders is to be delivered by our Prof Annalu Waller:

“Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) has been transformed by the social media revolution made possible by the emergence of mobile technology. The cumbersome dedicated devices of the seventies have evolved into a burgeoning AAC app industry. But the limited use and abandonment of AAC technologies remains high. Unlocking the untapped potential of technology requires a paradigm shift in the design of AAC technologies by building systems which minimise the cognitive load placed on users, adapting to their individual physical and language needs. Telling Tales will share insights and stories of how the combination of user-centred design, interdisciplinary research and the application of intelligent computing is providing a vision of future generations of AAC.”

Followed by drinks reception.

Please register at Eventbrite for your free ticket, only few remaining!

Strength in Silence – The Margaret Harris Lecture on Religion

A man who spent 14 years in institutions for people with profound learning and physical disabilities after contracting a brain infection will share the story of how he battled back to health at this year’s Margaret Harris Lecture at the University of Dundee.

Strength in Silence title in front of a young man's face with closed eyes

‘Strength in Silence’ takes place at the Dalhousie Building on Wednesday 1 November from 6-7pm. Free tickets for this event are available via Eventbrite, calling 01382 385108 or from the University’s Tower Building Reception.

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Updates on the ‘I have Aphasia’ app

Great news: Our ‘I have Aphasia’ app has been recommended by the new MyTherappy Health App NHS website by the multi-award winning Neurorehabilitation Team at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.

MyTherappy app logo
The new website logo. Link will send you to their ‘I have Aphasia’ app review page.

After a very successful launch of our ‘I have Aphasia’ app at the end of the Aphasia Awareness Month in June, the group is now working hard on the first update to make the app also available on Android devices! Other new features aim include adding a choice for language and accent.

The makers of the app press the launch button.
Left to right: Chris Kelly (NHS THAT), Sir Pete Downes (Principal, University of Dundee), Eddie Gasowski (user group), Shona Robison MSP, John Connell (Chairman, NHS Tayside) and Rolf Black (project lead) press the button to start live download of the app.

Museum After Hours event at the National Museum Scotland

The Dundee Augmentative and Alternative Communication Research Group ventured out to Edinburgh for the first of three Museum After Hours events at the National Museum Scotland. Parallel with preview acts for the current Fringe Festival, the Group demonstrated an eye gaze system that allows people to work on a computer by just looking at it. This time though not work but creativity was asked for when visitors were able to use the system to paint their own Jackson Pollock style picture by just using their eyes!


A panoramic view of the event (courtesy of Rolf)

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Launch of new Aphasia app

I have Aphasia’ is a new iOS app for people with aphasia, giving a brief but succinct explanation of their condition, which affects the ability to create and understand language. The app provides a short animated film made by people with aphasia outlining the key communication difficulties they face so that they can show it to others without the stress of trying to explain this themselves. The animation illustrates how people can assist them through understanding and patience. The iOS app is now free to download from the app store (uod.ac.uk/2u5Pvj1), a preview of the app animation can be found at aac.dundee.ac.uk/tap-and-talk.

Picture shows Shona Robison MSP (Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport) speaking at the launch event, watched by Sir Pete Downes (Principal, University of Dundee), John Connell (Chairman, NHS Tayside), Lesley McLay (Chief Executive, NHS Tayside), members of the design team and members of the user group.

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PITL (Promoting Inclusion, Transforming Lives) International Conference in Dundee

PITL LogoThe Dundee AAC Research Group will be involved in two talks at the PITL conference:

Thursday, 15 June 2017, 11:45am, Room 1F01
CamOnWheels”: Increasing narrative skills and participation for young people with complex communication needs
Mascha Legel, Annalu Waller (Abstract booklet)

Thursday, 15 June 2017, 2:30pm, Room 1F06
Empowering Disabled Educators
Annalu Waller, Kathleen Cummins, Alan McGregor (Abstract booklet)

From the PITL website:

“Organised by PAMIS and the Research Centre for Transformative Change: Educational & Life Transitions, which is part of the University of Dundee, the first PITL (Promoting Inclusion, Transforming Lives) International Conference in June 2017 will attract more than 200 national and international delegates to Dundee and Angus for a 2 day conference.

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