Empowering Disabled Educators

Annalu Waller, Kathleen Cummins, Alan McGregor

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Attitudes of healthcare professionals can be a barrier for people with severe communication and/or learning difficulties in accessing adequate healthcare. The University of Dundee’s Medical School, in collaboration with the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Research Group within the School of Science and Engineering, developed and evaluated a pilot workshop on AAC for medical students in 2012 [1, 2]. This type of training in medical education is now an integral part of undergraduate medical training. The material is also delivered to undergraduate dental students as part of their diversity training while computing undergraduate and postgraduate students engage with AAC within a research unit on Assistive Technology.

Members of the StraightTalking AAC User Group play a central part in the AAC training. They initially engaging with students in small groups after a tutor delivered an academic lecture on AAC. However, as a result of a focus group held to discuss their views of the workshop, the volunteers are now actively involved in both the design and delivery of the entire training. The feedback from students is consistently high and the disabled educators have gained self-confidence as experts in communication.

This workshop (co-presented by people who use AAC) explore the strategies and techniques which have been developed to support volunteers with severe speech and physical impairments to prepare and deliver AAC awareness training. The benefits and challenges will be discussed and presenters and participants will be encouraged to mutually share their own experiences of good practice and discuss the value of the training model across other disciplines.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2017
EventPromoting Inclusion Transforming Lives (PITL) International Conference 2017 - University of Dundee, Dalhousie Building, Dundee, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Jun 201716 Jun 2017
http://pitl.org.uk (Link to Conference website)


ConferencePromoting Inclusion Transforming Lives (PITL) International Conference 2017
Abbreviated titlePITL 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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