One of the things I like best is making presentations.  My very first one was in October 2005 when I was asked to talk for 5 minutes about ‘My life story’ which had been published in the Communication Matters Journal. Inspired by Tracy Beaker, a fictional character, ‘My Life Story’ was written when I was 10 and about how I felt being a communication aid user.  Because of the success of this I have given the presentations below:

What I enjoy is knowing people have chosen to come and listen to me, they sit quietly and at the end and during the rest of the event ask me relevant questions which I can answer using my Lightwriter.

Presentations are changed to be relevant or newly written for each event.  A completely new presentation can take me up to 3 months to write including the power point and pre-programming my speech.  Technology allows me to present independently, this all sits on a table in front of me so I can reach everything easily; I use a netbook or small laptop with the powerpoint so I can control the slides – I need the button to move on the slide to be fixed and I cannot turn to check the screen behind me is correct, .  I then use an iPad on which I have my speech printed alongside a picutre of each slide, this ensures I stay on track and forms a prompt. Finally I use my Lightwriter to deliver my presentation and answer questions.

Following feedback I am now adding copies of some of these below, starting with the most recent and working back.  If you wish to use any of my material please ensure you cite me in your work.

‘My Life Story’ – dress rehearsal at 1 Voice Network day July 2006 and 30 minute workshop at ISAAC 2006 in Dusseldorf, Germany in August 2006

‘My future’ – 15 minute presentation for the Office of Disability Issues Transition workshop in February 2007 to decision makers and influencers in national and local government and representatives of key organisaions.

‘My Life Story’ – 25 minute presentations to groups of staff and students at Beaumont College, Lancaster over 2 days in April 2007  (100 people total) in an Inspiring People event

‘Life is beautiful if you let it be’ dress rehearsal at 1 Voice Network day in July 2008 and 35 minute presentation at ISAAC 2008 in Montreal, Canada in August 2008

‘My life story’  updated, by invitation of Cerebral Palsy Greece at an international Child Development Conference in Athens, November 2008

‘How professionals can help AAC users’ 5 minutes as part of 1 Voice presentation for Communication Matters, September 2009.

P1000149‘The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth: Labelled?’

35 minute presentation/workshop about how I communicate at Communication Matters, September 2009. I use gesture, facial expression, eye pointing, text, props and of course high tech AAC.  My communication strategies can be see here How I communicate

ISAAC 2010 in Barcelona – 4 presentations

1. The Truth, the Whole Truth and nothing but the Truth – Labelled? More detailed than at Communication Matters – 45 minutes plus questions

2. 1 Voice Teenagers – Making a Difference – our experiences over the last 5 years plus some opinions!

3.  Mel Smith’s Dreams workshop – planned contribution about the importance of dreams to me and my dream to play Boccia for GB in 2016

4.  Dance workshop with Mel, Morgan and Emma – way to go dancing to PINK

Communication Matters September 2010, this time ‘Sitting GCSE’s using AAC: A personal perspective’.  GCSEs are UK national school exams.


  University of Dundee, February 2012.  Three different presentations over 2 days:

a) My Communication for their Expert User Group

b) Accessing GCSEs using AAC for the Computing Department

accessiblelearningDundee2012, and

c) Best practice in Teaching and Learning

BestpracticelearningDundee2012(part of a bigger seminar).

Thank you Dundee!


July 2012 in Pittsburgh USA.  I was also privileged to deliver the welcome speech at the conference social welcome event.


DARING TO DREAM August 2012. I have participated with Mel Smith from Australia in Dianne Bryen’s dreams workshops in Canada, the UK and Spain.  This is a really motivational workshop and has helped me make my dreams come true already. This time I shared delivering the workshop with Mel and learned a huge amount -Thanks Mel.



I had an amazing time at CM, as always.  2 presentations which went down very well.

My way to language and literacy is my personal story of how I learned to read, write and spell. A copy can be found here languagueandliteracyCM2012

The second session included a practical look around my van. This is Communication on the Move and a general paper including the communication challenges of applying for my own adapted van and the process of learning to drive. Take a look cm2012driving


Emma Green from Brisbane, Australia and I collaborated to deliver a session on ‘Connectedness’. Our presentation focused on the importance for us as of effective connections to people and places to create a sense of belonging.

Here is a copy of what we shared connectednesshandout

Thank you Emma!

ISAAC 2014 Lisbon

Emma joined me in voice and spirit when we shared a platform in Lisbon at ISAAC 2014.  She was unable to travel to Europe but pre-recorded her part of the session when we shared an updated version of our ‘Connectedness’ presentation.

Take a look at our views on ‘Connectedness’ CONNECTEDNESSisaac2014


The chance to reflect on my first year at Uni led me to submit a paper to CM called ‘Are young people who use AAC equipped to live independently?’  All my preparations were for things to go well, but life threw a few wobblies and I’ve learned a great deal about myself and managing my own support team. Here are some of my thoughts CM2014EmpoweredPresentation


imageAt CM2015 one of my team, Sarah, and I did a presentation titled “Me and my extended shadow”.  This covered both my own perspective of living independently, supported 24 hours a day by a team of personal assistants, and the views of the team presented by Sarah.  Being with other people 24 hours a day is not always easy, but because of the support I need then I always have someone on hand to help and support me, my assistants are facilitators, companions, academic support, sports assistants, mentors and much more. Often in the background, like an extended shadow, but essential and valued.  Based on the great feedback from those who attended CM2016 I then submitted the paper to ISAAC 2016 in Toronto and was accepted.  In Toronto Mum spoke Sarah’s original word’s. Click here to see the presentation:


I was invited to present at the ISAAC Israel conference in July 2016. For many reasons this was not feasible. As a result I agreed to make a video of the presentation they wanted.  Mum was also asked to make a presentation and she too made a video.  Here they are:

Beth’s video about living independently: Beth Living Independently

Liz’s video about being a parent of a child with communication impairment: Reflections