MSHS Presents – Learning together through lived experience, research, teaching, and practice: Unlocking communication as a key to a good life

We are delighted to invite you to the next event in the Melbourne School of Health Sciences' interdisciplinary series, MSHS Presents.

Webinar, 5:30-6:30pm, Wednesday 29 November 2023

Register Here

The ability to be heard, advocate for change, and reach our full potential are significant factors in living a rich and fulfilling life. Communication is key to this.

In celebration of International Day of People with Disability, this webinar will focus on the importance of Augmentative and Alternative Communication from the perspectives of those with lived experience of disability, health researchers, clinicians, and industry working together to foster partnerships, improve practice and advocate for change.

MSHS is committed to working with people with lived experience of disability, interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners, cross-sector communities, and policymakers to drive health sciences research that improves health and social outcomes for people with disability.

Hosted by Professor Bruce Thompson, Head of MSHS and MSHS Disability and Inclusion Research Hub ChampionsDr Lyndal Hickey and Dr Rachel Toovey, we will hear from the speakers below.

About the Speakers

Michael Burrowes, AAC User

Michael Burrowes speaker headshot

Michael is an artist who is an active member of the arts community having had his work displayed in several art shows. He has used a communication aid since he was a teenager. Prior to using a communication aid, he used key word signing. Michael finds the communication aid helps clearly say what he wants to. Other people in the community find it easy to understand him too.

Michael will talk about what being able to communicate clearly means to him.

Alastair McRae, Senior Clinician Speech Pathologist at Yooralla Allied Health

Alastair McRae speaker headshot

Alastair has extensive experience in delivering communication and dysphagia support to individuals with disabilities, working across diverse settings such as schools, hospitals, community teams, residential houses, and in people's homes. Alastair believes that communication is an intrinsic human right and advocates for placing communication at the forefront of how we support individuals with disabilities.

Alastair will discuss some of the joys and challenges of using AAC in a supported accommodation setting.

Stephanie Weir, Speech Pathologist, Lecturer, Department of Speech Pathology, MSHS

Stephanie Weir speaker headshot

Stephanie has worked extensively across disability and special education services in NSW and Victoria, with a focus on AAC. Stephanie’s PhD research is looking at the role of the international human rights framework and how it relates to the speech pathology role when working with children with severe communication disability.

Stephanie will talk about research in AAC and opportunities for further research.

A Q&A with our speakers will follow the forum on how we can improve activity in the space and establish where we go next to better meet the needs of our community.

Please note that the webinar will be recorded and shared with those whom have registered. If you are unable to join the webinar, you are welcome to register and receive the recording after the event.