Giving a ‘big’ presentation on my research

So I’m in the process of sorting out my filing system on my computer and I came across some text that I had written for a previous blog that I was co-author on.As it still seems to be relevant I’ll post it here.Bear in mind that this was written approximately 18 months ago.It’s also makes a change to be posting about  something other than apps (but new post on this soon).

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Not a strategy I employed to ease nervesGiven that I’m now approaching the end of my third year of my PhD research in the area of speech and language therapy, I’ve reached the point where I actually have interesting and somewhat conclusive things to tell people. That’s why I was very excited when I had an abstract for a presentation accepted for a therapy symposium organised by the British Aphasiology Society which coincidentally was being held this year at Newcastle University.

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BAS Conference 2011, Day 3

Day 3 of the BAS conference showed no signs of letting up in terms of inspiring people and offering nuggets of wisdom and things to reflect on. I’m concerned that I won’t be able to do justice to all the talks that I found exciting on that day so I’m just going to focus on three in particular that I found useful in providing food for thought. I should probably therefore apologise to Anne Whitworth who gave a keynote speech on measuring change in connected speech and in the process made an auditorium of SLTs feel a little less guilty for never quite getting around to transcribing and analysing all those speech samples that have been collected throughout the years. I’m hoping that I’ll be forgiven for skirting over this as Anne is also currently one of my PhD supervisors and she would appreciate that I am looking to branch out and reflect on clinical areas which are perhaps not my speciality … cough cough

Archeology of SLTPam Enderby (Uni of Sheffield) and Susan Edwards (Uni of Reading) gave back-to-back presentations on the “archeology of aphasia therapy” which gave both sobering and inspiring perspectives on the future directions of aphasia research and its link to therapy. Admittedly these talks covered a lot of interesting ground and were so engaging that my attention was mostly focused on listening and my note taking suffered, and due to my poor memory I’ve forgotten a fair bit of the detail. Read more of this post

BAS Conference 2011, Day 2

My main highlight of day 2 was probably the second keynote address by Faustina Hwang (Uni of Reading) on “Technology and aphasia” which proved to be very inspirational for what appeared the majority of the audience. When we struggle with technology (e.g. not being able to set up a computer or work apps, or even ‘basic’ functions on our phones), we generally have a tendency to blame ourselves for not being ‘intelligent’ enough to work it out. However, Faustina instead suggested it is OK for us to think that the technology has not been designed to effectively allow its intuitive use and it is not just down to our own deficiencies. She also pointed out that designers of technology cannot be expected to get it right if there is no collaboration and exchange of ideas from the actual users and vendors of technology – what is obvious to us, as SLTs may not be obvious to designers, so things like AAC devices will only be fit for purpose if we tell designers what the purpose is. Read more of this post

BAS Conference 2011, Day 1

While the first day’s keynote speakers offered interesting insights into neural reorganisation following phonological therapy (Alex Leff, UCL) and a retrospective and prospective review of therapy in aphasia (Anna Basso, Uni of Milan), i found myself more intrigued by the parallel presentation sessions looking at ‘conversation’ and ‘verbs’.

Elizabeth Armstrong (Edith Cowan Uni, AUS) presented a fascinating analysis of evaluative language by PWA (e.g. statements such as ‘I loved the movie’). This analysis showed that PWA are perfectly able to express their opinions and emotions, regardless of severity, through a range of types of evaluative language. Although, those with more severe Read more of this post

BAS Conference @ Reading University, 2011

This year’s British Aphasiology Society (BAS; http://www.bas.org.uk/) conference at Reading University has now finished so it seems prudent to reflect on what I’ve (we’ve) gained from this experience. This is important in order to make sure that the ‘take home’ messages contained within the diverse range of presentations and posters extend beyond the three days of the conference itself and can be incorporated into my (our) future research and perhaps more importantly clinical workings with people/persons with aphasia (PWA).

Given that different people will take different things away from the conference I’ll continue to post my own personal highlights from across the 3 days.

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