Communication Works has been organised by CENMAC and Charlton Park Academy in London since 2011 and has been a gold standard events showcasing Assistive Technology (ATech) being used in schools and to support inclusion. At the heart of the event is children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities who, along with a wide range of ATech and AAC suppliers, demonstrate the power of technology to enable effective communication and support learning in schools.
We were delighted when CENMAC’s team leader, Kathryn Stowell agreed to Ace Centre organising a parallel Communication Works in the North of England. Our excitement at this prospect was enhanced by the interest from one of our Partnerships, New Bridge School, to host the event in Oldham which is helpfully located near to our north office. Our first attempt to establish this as an annual event was in 2020, but we were thwarted by the pandemic. However, all was not lost and on the 26th May this year, we held the first Communication Works North event, with over 130 attendees and 25 suppliers in the field of ATech and AAC alongside the amazing students and staff of New Bridge School.
Thank you to Damon and Waj, students who are part of the New Bridge Enterprise, who captured the day beautifully with their team of peers who recorded and edited this wonderful video.
During the event we heard from inspirational external speakers including Toby Hewson, Rohan Slaughter from University of Dundee, Fil McIntyre from Techability and Zoe Maher from Nasen, to name but a few. There was a video presentation from Annie McIver from the EdTech division of the Department for Education and countless opportunities for school staff and leaders to network and learn from one another, technology suppliers in the Exhibition hall and Ace Centre staff. The feedback was fantastic from everyone who came!
“I need to express my heartfelt thanks to the students and staff at New Bridge School, our colleagues at CENMAC and everyone at Ace Centre who worked so hard to make the day the success that it was. I look forward to seeing you all there again next year – so watch this space for further details!” -Anna Reeves, CEO Ace Centre