Develop Your Communication Skills and Make a Difference  CPD

Course Information

Start DateStart TimeDurationCostCourse CodeApply
4 June 2018 10:00 - 12:30 (registration from 09:30) 2.5hrs £90 CS6084 Apply Now

Course Content

There are many challenges involved when interacting with someone with a communication disability. This course not only provides an insight into what it is like to live with a communication difficulty, but also offers practical tips and suggestions on how to deal with the challenges that you might face in your day to day role and the barriers you might need to overcome.

The course also offers you the chance to work with the real experts in communication, our trainers with aphasia. You can gain practical feedback and advice on your communication skills and what you could do moving forward.

This course was developed with a foundation of research into aphasia and expertise in supported conversation by Connect, the communication disability. It is published within the Conversation Partner Toolkit (Connect Press 2007). It has been tried and tested.

'Extremely useful course for increasing my knowledge, confidence and practical skills'(Occupational Therapist).'

Tutor Info

Dr Sally McVicker trained as a Speech and Language Therapist, having gained her doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Durham in 1988.  She has almost thirty years' experience of working with people living with aphasia and acquired neurological conditions.

Sally had experience of the acute, rehabilitation and community settings within the NHS, before starting at Connect, the communication disability network, in October 2000. During sixteen years at Connect, Sally managed many innovation projects, starting with the Conversation Partner Scheme which has been rolled out across university and health sectors in the UK and Ireland.  From the leaning with this project, Sally went onto develop peer befriending and peer led groups amongst other peer activities, contributing to the Connect training delivery and toolkit packages, which have been delivered across the UK. During this period, Sally fulfilled many roles, including Innovation Projects Lead, Director of Services, finally becoming Chief Executive.

Sally is passionate about continuing to innovate and work in partnership with people with aphasia to take the principles of her learning from Connect forward.


This course is for anyone that would like to enhance their communication skills, for example occupational therapists, nurses, care home and rehab assistants, doctors, speech and language therapists etc.

What will I learn?

An increased knowledge of the barriers and issues faced by someone with a communication disability.

New techniques to communicate effectively and compassionately with someone with a communication disability and practical tips for your own setting.

Teaching and Assessment

The course is interactive, with power point introduction, workshop, video workshop and feedback and then in the second half a practical component with trainers with aphasia. The trainers have a twenty minute conversation and then give their direct assessment to the student. A partnered student also gives feedback. Every student will have the opportunity to have this direct assessment from both trainee with aphasia and peer feedback.

Recommended Reading

Kagan A. (1995) Revealing the competence of aphasic adults through conversation: a challenge to health professionals.  Topics in Stroke Rehab 2:15-28.

Kagan, A. & Shumway, E. (2003) Talking to your …. Interactive resources for people and their health practitioners.

Knight, G (2005) Better Conversations. Connect Press

Murphy, J., Tester, S., Hubbard, G., Downs, M., and MacDonald, C. (2005) Enabling frail older people with a communication difficulty to express their views: the use of Talking Mats as an interview tool. Health and Social Care in the Community 13(2), 95-107

Parr S. (2007) Living with severe aphasia: tracking social exclusion Aphasiology 21 98-123

Parr, S. (2004) Living with severe aphasia - the experience of communication impairment after stroke . Pavillion- Joseph Rowntree Foundation Parr S., Byng S., Gilpin S. with Ireland C.  (1997) Talking about aphasia Open University Press

Parr S., Duchan J. & Pound C. (2003) Aphasia inside out: reflections on communication disability. Open University Press

Parr S., Pound C., Byng S., Long B., Moss R., (2004) The Stroke and Aphasia Handbook.

Penn,C, Frankel,T,Watermweyer J and Muller,M (2009) Informed consent and aphasia: Evidence of pitfalls in the process. Aphasiology, 23, 1, 3-32.

van der Gaag, A, Smith, L, Davies, S, Moss, B, Mowles, C. (2005) Connect therapy and support services for people with long term stroke and aphasia and their relatives; a six month follow up study. Clinical Rehabilitation, 19, 372-81.

Application Deadline: