University hosts awards night for innovative communications charity

An innovative communications charity, Communication Matters held its biannual awards event to celebrate its groundbreaking work.

In the foreground, an award in a black frame is presented to a woman in a wheelchair, wearing a blue blazer with silver buttons by a man in a black suit. A woman with blonde hair assists. In the background, an audience of people.

Communication Matters is a registered charity, based on campus, that supports people of all ages who find it difficult to communicate due to having little or no clear speech.  

The charity works across the UK to promote the best possible communication for people with complex communication needs. It hosts events including information, and study days for those wishing to learn more about Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC). 

In addition, the charity commissions research, publishes a journal, and hosts documents on policy and best practice in AAC.  

The awards were established in 2019 to recognize the AAC work of individuals, groups, and companies. The 2023 awards ceremony took place in the Esther Simpson building and was attended by more than 160 people. The ceremony celebrated inspiring people and their contributions to the arts, innovation, impact, creativity, inclusivity, and research.  

Winners included Liopa LLC (The AAC Innovation Award), Oli Cunningham (The Alan Martin Award), and Joanna Holmes (The Anthony Hewson Make a Difference Award), among others. 

Professor Alice O’Grady, Dean: Student Education (Quality and Standards) at the University, who attended the awards ceremony, said: “We are delighted to be working with Leeds-based organizations, demonstrating the impact of the university and its collaboration with the local community and region.  

“It is great to work with such a wonderful charity who have a profound and significant impact in helping those who face and overcome barriers in communicating. The 10 awards given out recognised inspiring people and their contribution to the arts, innovation, impact, creativity, inclusivity, and research.” 

The awards were supported by Stage@Leeds and the Conference and Events Team at the University. The charity was also entertained by Sign Out Loud and Britain’s Got Talent winner Lost Voice Guy, the Patron of Communication Matters. 

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