The team has published a number of research publications and conference presentations – these are shown as a full list below. Publications are related to research projects as studying and evaluating our day to day work as an assistive technology team.

Bulletin Magazine Front Page
In this article in Bulletin, Helen reflects on the impact of terminology when describing the tools in an AAC toolkit. Kindly reprinted/archived with permission of the RcSLT. It’s long been accepted that the augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) journey starts with ‘low-tech’ systems, such as signing, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) books and symbol boards, and ultimately leads to a ...
Read More
March 2020
BMJ Open Journal
Objectives Many children with varied disabilities, for example, cerebral palsy, autism, can benefit from augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems. However, little is known about professionals’ decision-making when recommending symbol based AAC systems for children. This study examines AAC professionals’ preferences for attributes of AAC systems and how they interact with child characteristics. Design AAC professionals answered a discrete choice experiment survey ...
Read More
November 2019
AAC Journal
Existing research suggests the provision of communication aids for children with complex communication needs can have significant positive impacts on health and quality-of-life. The process of clinical decision-making related to the recommendation of high-tech communication aids is not well documented or evaluated, and research evidence related to the provision of these aids remains limited. This study aimed to understand the ...
Read More
July 2019
AAC Journal
High-tech communication aids are one form of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) intervention offered to children following an assessment process to identify the most appropriate system based on their needs. Professional recommendations are likely to include consideration of child characteristics and communication aid attributes. Recommendations may be influenced by contextual factors related to the cultural work practices and service context ...
Read More
June 2019
QoL Research Journal
Purpose People who have complex communication needs (CCN), and who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to help them express themselves, can be difficult to engage in decision making about their healthcare. The purpose of this review was to identify what patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) have been employed with people who use AAC. Of the tools identified, the review aimed ...
Read More
June 2019
Disability and Rehab Journal
Background: Symbol communication aids are used by children with little or no intelligible speech as an Augmentative and Alternative Communication strategy. Graphic symbols are used to help support understanding of language and used in symbol communication aids to support expressive communication. The decision making related to the selection of a symbol communication aid for a child is poorly understood and little ...
Read More
April 2019
AAC Journal
The choice of which AAC device to provide for a child can have long lasting consequences, but little is known about the decision-making of AAC professionals who make recommendations in this context. A survey was conducted with AAC professionals using best–worst scaling methodology examining what characteristics of children and attributes of AAC devices are considered most important in decision-making. A ...
Read More
February 2019
Assistive Technology Integration and Accessibility
Integration of assistive technology may be an empowering tool for individuals with multiple disabilities; however, for this to be successful a number of factors need to be considered. This chapter will focus on defining integration of technology, history of integration, reasons for integration, factors to consider when considering integration and describes various models of integration along with their potential benefits and disadvantages ...
Read More
January 2019
Disability and Rehab Journal
OBJECTIVE: To involve people living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (plwALS) in the scoping and identification of research priorities related to the changes in ALS communication including the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). METHODS: Two focus groups of plwALS at early and late stages of change to speech intelligibility were carried out as a patient and participant involvement exercise ...
Read More
October 2018
AAATE 2017 Logo
This study examines the potential application of an EMG technology as an assistive control method for individuals with severe physical disabilities. The usability and acceptability of a prototype EMG switch was evaluated with health care professionals, researchers and end users using participatory approaches ...
Read More
September 2017
AAATE 2017 Logo
A systematic review of the language and communication characteristics of communication aids considered in identifying the appropriate aid for a child is introduced. The aim is to improve the decision-making around the provision of symbol communication aids to children ...
Read More
September 2017
Ergonomics Journal
Purpose: Identify location and intensity of discomfort experienced by healthy participants wearing cervical orthoses. Method: Convenience sample of 34 healthy participants wore Stro II, Philadelphia, Headmaster, and AspenVista® cervical orthoses for four-hour periods. Participants reported discomfort level (scale 0–6) and location. Results: Participants reported mean discomfort for all orthoses over the four-hour test between ‘a little discomfort’ and ‘very uncomfortable’ (mean ...
Read More
July 2017
AAC Journal
AAC service provision in the United Kingdom (UK) has evolved since the first service dedicated to the provision of communication aids opened in 1986. Within the UK, many health and care services are provided via government funding; however, the assessment and provision of AAC and specifically of speech-generating devices (SGDs) is inconsistent and inequitable. The study reported in this paper ...
Read More
July 2017
Technology and Disability Journal
BACKGROUND: Provision of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) interventions have been acknowledged to be highly variable in England and elsewhere. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the project described in this paper was to provide data to inform service planning and delivery of services delivering AAC including communication aids. METHODS: A survey was developed by an expert group and administered by telephone interview ...
Read More
January 2017
AAC Journal
Alert and transiently nonvocal intensive care unit (ICU) patients are dependent on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Unfortunately, the literature demonstrates that existent AAC devices have not been widely adopted, and unaided methods are often the primary modalities used despite being insufficient, and frustrating. We present the results of a qualitative semi-structured interview study with 8 ex-ICU patients, 4 ICU ...
Read More
October 2016
ALS Journal
Current practice and guidelines recommend the use of neck orthoses for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to compensate for neck weakness and to provide surrogate neck control. However, available options are frequently described by patients as restrictive and unsuitable and there was a need for a new device that addressed the needs of people with ALS. This project utilized ...
Read More
August 2016
IJLCD
 Background: Commissioners and providers require information relating to the number of people requiring a service in order to ensure provision is appropriate and equitable for the population they serve. There is little epidemiological evidence available regarding the prevalence of people who could benefit from augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) in the UK. Aim: To determine the prevalence of people who ...
Read More
April 2016
JMET Journal
Use of voice output communication aids (VOCAs) can be a very effective strategy to assist people with speech impairments in communicating. Despite this, people who use communication aids often express frustration with VOCAs—desiring devices that are simpler, quicker and more effective to use. Whilst it is not possible to resolve all these issues with technology, it is argued that significant ...
Read More
October 2015
JMET Journal
This paper presents the Head-Up project, that aims to provide innovative head support to help improve posture, relieve pain and aid communication for people living with progressive neck muscle weakness. The initial focus is motor neurone disease. The case study illustrates collaborative, interdisciplinary research and new product development underpinned by participatory design. The study was initiated by a 2-day stakeholder ...
Read More
October 2015
Could Speaker Identification Improve the Effectiveness of Aided Communication?
The aim of the project reported in this paper is to investigate the potential for 'SpeakerID' to improve the effectiveness of communication aids. SpeakerID is software that detects who you are talking to. This would allow a communication aid to 'know' who was talking to the person using the communication aid and adapt its interface accordingly. SpeakerID is an example ...
Read More
September 2014
The Makeup Of Services Providing AAC In England And The Level Of Use Of AAC – A Survey Of English Services
The work in the UK described here reports on a survey of services providing AAC in England. Previous work (1) in the UK concentrated on understanding the makeup of specialised or dedicated AAC services. The work summarised in this paper aimed to survey the provision of services working at a local or universal level. The context of this work is ...
Read More
July 2014
How do we make decisions about symbolic vocabularies for communication?
This paper presentation describes the initial stages in a programme of work investigating the decision making processes that take place around the choice of symbolic vocabularies for children and young people who use, or could use, aided communication. The overall aim of this work is to inform the decision making processes in the selection of communication systems with the hope ...
Read More
July 2014
Engineering Independence - how Environmental Control systems can and could support independence
Data from studies looking at the user requirements for environmental control systems is used to give context to the current use of these systems. Also described are a range of ‘future looking’ r&d that aim to create the next generation of EC systems. Presented at the British Academy of Childhood Disability (BCAD) 2014. <iframe id="iframe_container" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" width="550" ...
Read More
April 2014
Symbolic Vocabularies for Communication: A review
How are symbolic vocabularies described and analysed how do we choose between them? This presentation investigates... <iframe id="iframe_container" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" width="550" height="400" src="https://prezi.com/embed/0ykh4nuki4ty/?bgcolor=ffffff&amp;lock_to_path=0&amp;autoplay=0&amp;autohide_ctrls=0&amp;landing_data=bHVZZmNaNDBIWnNjdEVENDRhZDFNZGNIUE43MHdLNWpsdFJLb2ZHanI0amhzWk9ld2VJeXVXalhlUFdXWDFpUXJBPT0&amp;landing_sign=eweGSa1NV-YAQOarqbRO9GnNRatK-z3xWtEvSiFZTaQ"></iframe> ...
Read More
March 2014
IJLCD
Background: Voice output communication aids (VOCAs) are a key form of aided communication within the field of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). In recent years, rapid developments in technology have resulted in an explosion of devices available commercially, yet little research has been conducted into what people who use VOCAs think about them. Aims: The aim of this research was to explore ...
Read More
June 2013
Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica Journal
 Background/Aims: In the last 20 years the range of high-technology augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) aids has rapidly expanded. This review aimed to provide a ‘state of the art’ synthesis, to provide evidence-based information for researchers, potential users and service providers. Methods: Electronic databases were searched from 2000 to 2010, together with reference lists of included papers and review papers. The review ...
Read More
October 2012
Communicaiton Aids & People with Dysarthria
Discussing the potential for communciation aids for people with dysarthric speech. Presented at ISAAC 2012, 1st August 2012, Pittsburgh, USA and CM 2012, 25th Sept 2012, Leicester, UK. <iframe id="iframe_container" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" width="550" height="400" src="https://prezi.com/embed/5lsb2urz17p2/?bgcolor=ffffff&amp;lock_to_path=0&amp;autoplay=0&amp;autohide_ctrls=0&amp;landing_data=bHVZZmNaNDBIWnNjdEVENDRhZDFNZGNIUE43MHdLNWpsdFJLb2ZHanI0c2tMMENxKzUrQVlHcnZZN2I4T0pMTU13PT0&amp;landing_sign=2hvvg4Tyka9mPABgrh66ha39AN-mcbg5SmPO1iX3ig4"></iframe> ...
Read More
August 2012
IJLCD
 Background: There has been a rapid growth in recent years of available technologies for individuals with communication difficulties. Research in the area is currently underdeveloped with practitioners having a limited body of work on which to draw to guide the process of intervention. Concerns have been raised that this newly developed technology may have limited functional usage. Aims: This review aims to ...
Read More
March 2012
Vivoca (Voice Input Voice Output Communication Aid) - Design Considerations
Investigating the design considerations in creating a communication aid which can recognise some dysarthric speech. Presented at CM 2011. <iframe id="iframe_container" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" width="550" height="400" src="https://prezi.com/embed/bjkxnkkdknln/?bgcolor=ffffff&amp;lock_to_path=0&amp;autoplay=0&amp;autohide_ctrls=0&amp;landing_data=bHVZZmNaNDBIWnNjdEVENDRhZDFNZGNIUE43MHdLNWpsdFJLb2ZHanI0aTI4TFp0ZDMyaWhnSTBvZUpaZlAvNHJ3PT0&amp;landing_sign=-NT4ltHOLEgE3-FPmohfwu9Q0Ku_j7G1ZQ7pop8-Oxk"></iframe> ...
Read More
September 2011
VOCA (Voice Output Communication Aids) Design
A presentation setting out some of the constraints around the design of communication aids - in particular considering communication aids for people with moderate dysathria. Presented at CM 2011. <iframe id="iframe_container" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" width="550" height="400" src="https://prezi.com/embed/kdhnpcdom_bg/?bgcolor=ffffff&amp;lock_to_path=1&amp;autoplay=0&amp;autohide_ctrls=0&amp;landing_data=bHVZZmNaNDBIWnNjdEVENDRhZDFNZGNIUE43MHdLNWpsdFJLb2ZHanI0VDBJUVJrcTErUGFid0ZQTEJ4cVcybFJBPT0&amp;landing_sign=3fcwEA7UbROtFX762Ta89V8Wed1IzuJR4nyAB8EhEBc"></iframe> ...
Read More
September 2011
Journal of AT
 This study set out to collect data from assistive technology professionals about their provision of speech‐driven environmental control systems. This study is part of a larger study looking at developing a new speech‐driven environmental control system. A focus group for assistive technology professionals was conducted. This focus group was recorded, transcribed and then analysed using a framework approach. The analysis ...
Read More
March 2011
Disability and Rehab Journal
Purpose. To explore users' experiences and perceptions of speech-driven environmental control systems (SPECS) as part of a larger project aiming to develop a new SPECS. The motivation for this part of the project was to add to the evidence base for the use of SPECS and to determine the key design specifications for a new speech-driven system from a user's perspective ...
Read More
January 2009