1st Better Conversations Conference, 7 November 2019 plus free BCA training day

Dear SLT colleague

The Better Conversations team at UCL is thrilled to announce our first Better Conversations Conference to be held on Thursday 7 November 2019 from 9.30am to 4.30pm at Chandler House (WC1N 1PF). Our aim is to provide an opportunity to share good practice in communication partner training (CPT), value the work of SLTs in this area, and create a sustainable community of practice. We are using CPT as an umbrella term for all types of intervention focused on improving the everyday conversation skills of our clients and their communication partners. For this first conference, our focus will be on adult clients.

Our conference speakers are practising SLTs or student SLTs who will share their experiences of delivering different types of CPT with a range of adult clients. Our keynote speakers are Dr Jackie Kindell (Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust) on conversation and dementia, and Rosemary Townsend (Chief Executive, Dyscover) on conversation and aphasia. During short ‘CPT and me’ talks, SLTs will present their experiences of CPT by answering the following questions: What did you do? Why did you do it? What did you find? There will be lots of time for questions and discussion.

On Wednesday 6 November, there will be a free training day from 10am to 3.30pm covering the following topics: the Better Conversations approach to CPT for a range of acquired disorders; the practicalities of delivering Better Conversations inspired intervention; identifying what to target in therapy – conversational barriers and facilitators; goal setting and measuring outcomes; ask the experts panel.

The full programme is here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/pals/better-conversations-conference-making-it-work-slt

Booking is essential, please book here: https://onlinestore.ucl.ac.uk/conferences-and-events/faculty-of-brain-sciences-c07/linguistics-f71/f71-better-conversations-conference-making-it-work-in-slt

For all queries regarding this conference please contact Kea Young kea.young@ucl.ac.uk

We look forward to seeing you at this event!

Best wishes

Suzanne Beeke and the Better Conversations Team

@BCAphasia

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Reminder: Two talks by Professor Pirkko Rautakoski next week

Professor Pirkko Rautakoski from Abo Akademi University in Turku, Finland, will be giving two talks on aphasia. Both events take place in Room G10, Chandler House.  These talks are not ticketed, just come along – all welcome!

Mon 24th June 2019, 2pm-5pm

Supporting the activity and participation of people with aphasia at a local level: “Communication Cottages.”

The goal of “consequences-focused approaches” in aphasia rehabilitation is to reduce the impact of aphasia on a person´s life. Aphasia often changes the social life of people with aphasia and reduces it compared to life before the stroke. The contacts with the immediate family most often remain the same but according to many studies, friends are seen less often than before the stroke. It is important to ensure that people with aphasia can regain their social life despite communication difficulties. Interventions to support the activity and participation of people with aphasia are needed.

The Finnish Brain Association (FBA) has carried out a project called “Communication Cottages”.  The goal of this project is to reduce the social isolation people with aphasia often experience and to increase their possibilities for participation.  “Communication Cottages” provide group activities for people with aphasia. The development of these activities began in 2006-2009 with five “Communication Cottage” groups and now there are already 42 groups in different municipalities in Finland, 36 for Finnish speaking people and 6 for Swedish speaking people. The groups are hosted by adult education centers at a local level in municipalities. These centers offer different kinds of courses for adult residents, ranging from language courses to woodwork, and now also “Communication cottage” activities for people with aphasia. The model and the activities of “Communication cottages” will be introduced in more detail in the presentation.

Tues 25th June 2019, 10am-1pm

Learning from communication partner training for aphasia in Finland.

It has been agreed that instead of regarding aphasia only as a language disorder it should be considered as an inclusive interaction problem on an individual level. The communication difficulties of people with aphasia change their everyday interactions with other people. They are not such active partners in conversations, and general participation in social interaction is reduced when compared to before the stroke. It is a common phenomenon that conversation with a person with aphasia includes non-verbal communication, as well as long repair sequences. The role of the non-aphasic communication partner in constructing these kinds of conversation is important. It has been noticed that many communication partners do not naturally find ways to support the communication of the person with aphasia, and they need guidance in their new role. On the other hand, conversation is a collaboration between two or more people. People with severe aphasia also need new methods to express themselves and guidance to begin to use them. These observations are starting points for different interventions where couples and communication partners receive guidance on how to strengthen their successful communication strategies, how to avoid less successful ones, and how the communication partner can facilitate and support the communication of his or her aphasic partner.

An intensive and mutual communication therapy for a couple with a partner with severe aphasia, called APPUTE, has been developed in Finland by speech and language therapist Arja Nykänen (Nykänen et al., 2013). The aim of the APPUTE method is to practise functional communication strategies using a structured programme under the close guidance of a speech and language therapist. Both the people with aphasia and their partners participate in the intervention and are active parties in the communication. They practise finding functional communication strategies to convey both everyday messages and more complicated ones. Both are also responsible for the situation and have their own roles in the success of the communication. The training programme consists of three different types of communication tasks arranged according to the level of difficulty. The aim of the presentation is to introduce the APPUTE method in more detail and report on its effectiveness.

Nykänen, A., Nyrkkö, H., Nykänen, M., Brunou, R., & Rautakoski, P. (2013). Communication therapy for people with aphasia and their partners (APPUTE). Aphasiology. 27, 1159–1179. https://doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2013.802284

Information session on Doctoral Study at UCL on Wed 1st May

We are holding an information session on Doctoral Study at UCL on Wed 1st May 6pm — 8pm.

It is an information session for SLTs and AHPs who are committed to clinical research as part of their career and are considering further study at doctoral level (PhD).

What will I get out of attending?
• Insider information on the NIHR schemes and other funding sources.
• Hints, tips and the realities of applying for funding: an opportunity to hear from SLTs who are currently or have been funded by the NIHR to complete a PhD, and with SLTs who have other PhD funding.
• Information about pre-doctoral study and funding options
• Q&A session: get answers to your questions and practical advice from a panel of PhD students and staff.
• An opportunity to informally network with SLTs who are doing or have recently been awarded a PhD, and with staff with a range of research interests.

Location: Chandler House, University College London, 2 Wakefield Street, London, WC1N 1PF

Sign up on Eventbrite:
https://tinyurl.com/y3mtoctq

For more information about MPhil/PhD study at UCL please see:
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/pals/study/pals-phd-and-doctorate-programmes/mphilphd-language-and-cognition

Two talks by Professor Pirkko Rautakoski

Professor Pirkko Rautakoski from Abo Akademi University in Turku, Finland, will be giving two talks on aphasia. Both events take place in Room G10, Chandler House.  These talks are not ticketed, just come along – all welcome!

Mon 24th June 2019, 2pm-5pm

Supporting the activity and participation of people with aphasia at a local level: “Communication Cottages.”

The goal of “consequences-focused approaches” in aphasia rehabilitation is to reduce the impact of aphasia on a person´s life. Aphasia often changes the social life of people with aphasia and reduces it compared to life before the stroke. The contacts with the immediate family most often remain the same but according to many studies, friends are seen less often than before the stroke. It is important to ensure that people with aphasia can regain their social life despite communication difficulties. Interventions to support the activity and participation of people with aphasia are needed.

The Finnish Brain Association (FBA) has carried out a project called “Communication Cottages”.  The goal of this project is to reduce the social isolation people with aphasia often experience and to increase their possibilities for participation.  “Communication Cottages” provide group activities for people with aphasia. The development of these activities began in 2006-2009 with five “Communication Cottage” groups and now there are already 42 groups in different municipalities in Finland, 36 for Finnish speaking people and 6 for Swedish speaking people. The groups are hosted by adult education centers at a local level in municipalities. These centers offer different kinds of courses for adult residents, ranging from language courses to woodwork, and now also “Communication cottage” activities for people with aphasia. The model and the activities of “Communication cottages” will be introduced in more detail in the presentation.

Tues 25th June 2019, 10am-1pm

Learning from communication partner training for aphasia in Finland.

It has been agreed that instead of regarding aphasia only as a language disorder it should be considered as an inclusive interaction problem on an individual level. The communication difficulties of people with aphasia change their everyday interactions with other people. They are not such active partners in conversations, and general participation in social interaction is reduced when compared to before the stroke. It is a common phenomenon that conversation with a person with aphasia includes non-verbal communication, as well as long repair sequences. The role of the non-aphasic communication partner in constructing these kinds of conversation is important. It has been noticed that many communication partners do not naturally find ways to support the communication of the person with aphasia, and they need guidance in their new role. On the other hand, conversation is a collaboration between two or more people. People with severe aphasia also need new methods to express themselves and guidance to begin to use them. These observations are starting points for different interventions where couples and communication partners receive guidance on how to strengthen their successful communication strategies, how to avoid less successful ones, and how the communication partner can facilitate and support the communication of his or her aphasic partner.

An intensive and mutual communication therapy for a couple with a partner with severe aphasia, called APPUTE, has been developed in Finland by speech and language therapist Arja Nykänen (Nykänen et al., 2013). The aim of the APPUTE method is to practise functional communication strategies using a structured programme under the close guidance of a speech and language therapist. Both the people with aphasia and their partners participate in the intervention and are active parties in the communication. They practise finding functional communication strategies to convey both everyday messages and more complicated ones. Both are also responsible for the situation and have their own roles in the success of the communication. The training programme consists of three different types of communication tasks arranged according to the level of difficulty. The aim of the presentation is to introduce the APPUTE method in more detail and report on its effectiveness.

Nykänen, A., Nyrkkö, H., Nykänen, M., Brunou, R., & Rautakoski, P. (2013). Communication therapy for people with aphasia and their partners (APPUTE). Aphasiology. 27, 1159–1179. https://doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2013.802284

Better Conversations with Aphasia – survey launched!

Dear SLTs working in the UK and Republic of Ireland

We know how hectic your working life is. Caseloads and waiting lists are often hefty and weigh on our minds from dawn to dusk. We know you want resources that are quick and accessible, and yet evidence based and effective. Better Conversations with Aphasia aims to be such a resource. But is it really that helpful to you? What bits of it do you actually use? Has it changed your practice? What bits could be improved? What are the barriers to you using it more regularly?

We want to evaluate the impact of BCA on the clinical practice of SLTs. If we know what works we can make more of it, and if we know what needs changing we can make sure we do that too.

We invite you to complete our 15 minute survey: https://opinio.ucl.ac.uk/s?s=59755

You can choose to go into a prize draw for a £30 Amazon gift voucher!

Many thanks for reading this message, we hope you will help us by completing the survey.

Suzanne

On behalf of the BCA Team

Coming up: NIHR Pre-doctoral Funding Information Session for SLTs and AHPs working with clients with communication difficulties

At this session you can find out about the funding scheme for AHPs working in the NHS and schools – HEE/NIHR Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship, which funds you to take our MRes (or to design your own bespoke training if you already have a research masters) and have time to write a PhD application.  Hear what UCL has to offer as a host organisation, speak to some of our four successful SLT awardees from 2018, get advice on convincing your manager to support you, and also develop your research ideas.

Date: Tuesday 5th February 2019, 5.30 – 7.30pm

Location: G15, Chandler House, University College London, 2 Wakefield Street, London, WC1N 1PF

Be sure to reserve a free ticket by clicking on the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/information-session-on-nihr-pre-doctoral-clinical-academic-fellowships-tickets-54339628291

Best wishes

Suzanne, Mike and Kea

Department of Language and Cognition, Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London

What Communication Partner Training (CPT) do clinicians provide in the first 4 months after stroke?

Do you work with people with aphasia in the first 4 months after stroke? SLT Bev Snowden is studying for a masters at Marjon in Plymouth and she needs your help. Her research will investigate what CPT clinicians are using in the UK during the first 4 months post-stroke. It is also anticipated that the challenges and facilitating elements to providing CPT during this period will be uncovered. It is an area of research that hasn’t received much attention, so it is hoped that the information gathered will be of benefit to clinicians working with aphasia as well as to people with aphasia and their communication partners.

 

The survey will only take 15 minutes to complete – have your say!

 

Fill out in Google Forms