Start as you mean to go on…

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Our First Giving Voice Social

Thursday night at the Union saw the very first Giving Voice social of the year and we are all still smiling from the great night that was had by all!

70 people from the MSc Speech and Language Science courses came together to help us celebrate our first event and this great turn out sparked interest in other people at the union, who were curious to find out what we were doing there. This gave us a good opportunity to spread the word about Giving Voice and invite some new people to see what we are all about. After some mingling and drinking we brought out our “Lucky Dip for giving voice” and then as the evening went on some of us really gave our voice on the karaoke.

This year, the Giving Voice Society wants to foster a culture of self-advocacy among its members and so decided to kick off with the “Lucky Dip for giving voice”.  We are pleased to say that we had some fantastic feedback about our Lucky Dip which gave attendees some ideas about ways in which they can spread awareness of speech, language and communication needs and swallowing difficulties to students on other courses as well as to friends and family. A grand total of 30 Lucky Dip challenges were accepted and we look forward to hearing all about them.

Some of the ideas included:

  • Hosting a film night; showing films relevant to speech, language and communication needs, such as “The King’s Speech” (stuttering/dysfluency), and “Still Alice” (dementia)
  • Hosting a dinner party where the food could be pureed/drinks thickened (dysphagia) or there could be a game of charades at the end of the dinner party-to highlight how difficult it can be communicate without speech.
  • Having a tea-party using total communication, using signs, picture symbols and perhaps even an Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) app on the iPad
  • Teaching friends new Makaton signs

We have asked our campaigners to let us know how the events turn out, so keep an eye out for their responses on Twitter and Instagram. We would especially love it if anyone was inspired to write a blog post about their adventure, so we could read about it here.

All of this of course would not have been possible without each and everyone who came down and took part, so a very big thank you to all the year A and B students for their support and enthusiasm and we look forward to having many more socials and campaigning with you over the year! We are particularly excited about our next event, the first in a series of talks about speech, language and communication needs. So make a note in your diary for Wednesday 21 October for an evening of learning, laughing and inspiration.

Looking forward to seeing you then,

UCL Giving Voice Committee

Facebook: uclugivingvoicesociety

Twitter: @GivingVoice_UCL

Instagram: uclugivingvoice

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