Announcing the TechAbility Conference – Raising Standards

Helping practitioners use technology to support learners

Announcing the TechAbility Conference – Raising Standards

23rd May 2019

At Natspec, we know the impact that technology can have on student’s lives. It’s why we launched the TechAbility service, which aims to support providers to make effective use of assistive technology. The TechAbility Conference, happening on 21 November 2019 in Birmingham, aims to build on this by showcasing good practice and enabling you to raise the standard of assistive technology provision in your organisation.

Fil McIntyre, one of Natspec’s assistive technologists, said: “This conference is focussed on how Assistive Technology can be used to ensure learners reach their goals. All presentations are firmly based on practice and use, no matter what the technology. We are also excited to introduce the TechAbility Standards as a new way for you to measure your Assistive Technology provision”

Bookings for the conference are open now and we hope that as many of you as possible can join us.

group examining a piece of assistive technology

Keynote Speakers

We are delighted to announce Professor Janice Murray, Sal Cooke and Robert McLaren as our keynote speakers for this event.

Janice Murray is a professor at Manchester Metropolitan University, specialising in Augmentative and Alternative Communication. From 2016-2019 Janice was the Chief Investigator on the NIHR funded research project ‘Identifying Appropriate Symbol Communication Aids for Children who are non-speaking: enhancing clinical decision making’.

Sal Cooke is a director of the Karten Network and a council member of the British Assistive Technology Association. Sal has previously worked with the Department for Education and Skills, JISC, and a number of schools and colleges. Currently, Sal is particularly interested in working with specialist colleges.

Robert McLaren is head of the industry technology and innovation team at Policy Connect, a think tank dedicated to improving people’s lives by influencing policy. Policy Connect administer the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Assistive Technology, which aims to facilitate engagement on assistive technology amongst Members of both Houses of Parliament, thereby raising the profile of AT and enabling it to help more people.


Assistive Technologist demonstrating the use of a tabletWe have several informative and educational workshops happening throughout the day that will help enhance your assistive technology provision. A wide variety of topics will be covered, with more workshops to be confirmed shortly. Already confirmed are:

Opportunities for Professional Development in Assistive Technology – Paul Doyle, Access Centre Manager, Hereward College & Matt Daly, Assistive Technologist, Seashell Trust

AT Solutions for People with Visual Impairment – Anna Janickyj, RNIB College

Identifying Appropriate Symbol Communication Aids; presentation of a research project – Janice Murray, Manchester Metropolitan University on behalf of the whole team and project collaborators (Barnsley Assistive Technology Service, the University of Leeds).

What Use is 3D Printing? – Matt Daly, Assistive Technologist, Royal College Seashell Trust

Implementing Assistive Technology: What can Specialist Colleges and General FE Colleges learn from each other? – Rohan Slaughter, Subject Specialist, JISC

Demystifying Switching – Hannah Golding, Assistive Technology Manager, Treloar College

Throughout the Day

All delegates will get the chance to discuss and share their opinions on current topics in assistive technology with our experts, and the day will end with a panel discussion where everyone can get involved.

There will also be lunchtime drop-in sessions and demonstrations, with the chance to get hands on with current assistive technology and see how to use it effectively.

An agenda for the day is now available and we hope to see you there.