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Exploring risk and SafeTy with leArning disabilitY clients in forensic Services: an evAluation oF Talking Mats a visual, Electronic, communications tool

Talking Mats online training

We have been having lots of fun recently doing our Talking Mats training, thankfully all of which can be done online (!! Lois and Nicki set up training profiles for everyone in the STAY SAFE team so we can all log in when it suits us and work through the educational material. Although several of us are very familiar with the visual communications tools it was great to get a refresher course to ensure we understood the foundations of clear communication. The best aspect is there are loads of great videos to watch from Talking Mats staff and accreditated trainers as they work with clients using both the physical and digital versions of Talking Mats (

There are also some quizzes to check your knowledge and other activities such as reflections that you can do with family or friends to test how they would use Talking Mats and how you communicate with them. This is quite tricky with someone you know quite well but it was clearly beneficial regardless and would be even more so when working with patients who find talking difficult. As well as providing useful policy documents and other core reading such as relevant legislation, the training finished by asking participants to video record their use of Talking Mats both as a listener and a thinker. These were reviewed by Lois and her team to ensure each person had really learned how to utilise the symbols and overall communication tool. Now we just need to get some nursing staff from NHS Fife trained up using the online platform and we’ll be another step closer to beginning data collection!


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