Sharing Day 2014
"It's all about communication"
This year's 2014 Sharing Day brought over 130 people together from all over Essex and beyond; some from as far away as West Sussex. They all came to share their ideas and methods on improving communication for people with disabilities and communication needs.
"To value communication on all levels, great and small!"
"So many methods of communication"
Throughout the day were leading experts from around the country running exhibits for their new wares; Techcess explained their brand new text-to-speech device the Allora. Widgit showed some brand new SymWriter2 software. Liberator gave a talk through some of their latest equipment whilst the ICE stand signed up some new members, offering them the chance to borrow communication equipment throughout Essex libraries.
"How technology is taking over!"
The day began with an opening from Therapy Box in the main hall, who ran the workshop for iPad Solutions. Assisted by Russell Smith from Dad in a Shed they demonstrated some handy apps, such as Predictable, Chatable and Scene & Heard.
"I was amazed by the presentations on the iPad. This is definitely an area I will explore further after today."
"How versatile iPads are in being able to meet communication needs"
Elsewhere, Accuro ran a Communication for Parents workshop. After the break, Sarah Sherratt from Essex Care Consortium ran signing refreshers for novices and experienced signers alike.
"Sarah inspired me to start signing again - EVERYDAY!"
There were certified courses on offer too! 20 people passed Module 1 of 'An Introduction to Inclusive Communication' delivered by Christine Chester-Heylar who was taking a break from our signing song finale!!
"Lots of enthusiastic speech & language therapists/students, parents of children with learning disabilities…"
Later, Janet Gurney from Us in a Bus gave an Introduction to Intensive Interaction, which she continued after lunch with an advanced talk. The positive feedback ranged widely from those new to Intensive Interaction, to the learned and inspired, who said
"…this session provided a practical example and solution which can be applied after the Sharing Day."
"True equality is about using the same emotional language; you value each other."
After lunch, a joint talk from CAVS and Essex Police highlighted the issue of Hate Crime to an audience of listeners. This also included the Keep Safer scheme, which has been extended in the Chelmsford and Colchester areas.
In the main hall, table-tops tasters were an ideal time to share more methods of inclusive communication, among them Social Stories, Sensory Stories and Lego Therapy.
The event was closed by 'Youth Create' who enthralled the audience with a signed version of 'True Colours'.....truly a spectacular end to a wonderful day!