Communication Matters Conference 2024

8 - 10 September, University of Leeds

Conference Programme


Delegates will be able to choose from a large number of presentations in the conference programme. It will be a great opportunity to hear about, and be part of, the latest developments in the field of AAC.



All sessions are categorised into three 'levels' as a guide to the type and nature of the presentation:

  • Introductory sessions assume no previous knowledge of AAC

  • General sessions assume participants have a knowledge of AAC, probably gained over several years, and the sessions may have more discussion time than an Introductory session

  • Specialist sessions assume even greater knowledge and, in some cases, will be more participatory in nature

We have based our topic areas on the three aspects of evidence-based practice, which constitute improved outcomes for all. These aspects are:

  • Best Research Evidence (from independent organisations such as education, social or health services and universities)

  • Clinical & Professional Service Delivery (presented by health or education professionals or those working for other organisations for AAC users)

  • Personal Stories & Case Studies (would include personal experience stories, single case studies and examples of AAC in the wider community).

In addition to platform presentations there will be poster sessions on the Monday & Tuesday and also some more participatory events.

Conference Theme

We are pleased to announce the theme for this year's conference is “Empowerment”.

To empower: ‘To give power to yourself or someone else’ - ‘To encourage and support the ability to do something’

In life everyone needs to be empowered to be their best selves, to know the decisions and choices they make are supported. Within the world of AAC we often talk about empowering individual AAC users. In reality, this means we want to ensure that the whole AAC community is empowered with the tools and resources, the skills, and appropriate networks to succeed and thrive.  

Whether we are AAC users, a family member, a health professional, working in education or social care, in research, or as a supplier, we all need and deserve to feel empowered as individuals, and that we can add value in our interaction when discussing or using AAC with others on a daily basis. For that reason, we have chosen the theme of Empowerment for the Communication Matters 2024 Conference.

To complement this theme, the fancy dress on Monday night will be: TBC. 
Please think sustainably and help us to reduce, reuse, recycle and say no to fast fashion. Have a dig through your wardrobe, or at a local charity shop, or why not see if you can borrow something from family/friends – they might just have the perfect item! 


Annual Meeting of Associate Members

Associate Members of Communication Matters can attend the 2024 Annual Meeting of Associate Members on Sunday 8th September at 16.30. Non-members are welcome to attend as observers but they cannot vote on resolutions or speak to the meeting.


A Draft Timetable for the CM2024 Conference will be available in Summer.

The Book of Abstracts for the CM2024 Conference will be available in Summer.

You will be provided with a printed programme when you register in Leeds. The printed programme will include some general conference information and a copy of the final timetable. Please note that the Book of Abstracts is available online only, and we recommend reading this in advance of the conference if you can.

Registration opens at 13.00 on the Sunday. Following the Annual Meeting, the exhibition opens with a welcome drinks reception at 17.30 with conference supper from 18.30 and entertainment.

Monday morning starts with a welcome talk at 9.30 and the keynote presentation shortly afterwards. Parallel sessions run from 10.45 - 17.10 with plenty of refreshment breaks and lunch where you can view the posters. The drinks reception (arrive in your fancy dress!) starts at 18.30, before a beautiful 3-course conference dinner from 19.30, with entertainment until late.

Tuesday sees parallel sessions running from 9.00, again with plenty of refreshment breaks and lunch (where you can view the posters) and the plenary presentation starts at 14.15 with the final farewell at 15.30. 

Please note that much work has been done to ensure all the spaces we are using for the conference are accessible. For health and safety reasons, there will be a maximum number of people and wheelchair users allowed in each location. Please note therefore that this may mean you are turned away from a session that you wish to attend, to ensure it is a safe conference for everyone. Thank you for your understanding.



For Presenting Authors

We recommend that presenting authors view our Top Tips for Presenting Video by our past patron, Martin Pistorius.

If you are presenting a Platform, Poster, Workshop, or Lightning Talk, please Download Guidelines.



Telephone: 0113 343 1533
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