A Silver Jubilee Celebration
25 Years of Communication Support

Saturday 30 June 2012. The Riverside Centre, Derby

During the research stage of their book ‘History of CSWs’, which was launched at the 2012 conference, Andy Owen and Maria Bailey discovered that 2012 marked the 25th anniversary of the first qualified Communication Support Workers entering the workforce. The notable event was deemed to be worthy of recognition and therefore became the theme of the conference.

Jill Newlands, Chair of ACSW, hosted this year’s conference and gave the floor to Andy and Maria for the first keynote, based on their research. The presentation was called ‘The History of Communication Support Work.’ Conference was privileged to hear a brief talk by guest of honour Chris Green, who was a key player in the initial CSW training course and a co-author (with Warren Nickerson) of the first book about CSWs: ‘The Rise of the Communicator: A Perspective on Post-16 Education and Training for Deaf People’, published in 1992. Chris gave a moving account of the evolution of CSWs and was pleased to accept a copy of the new book.

The second keynote speaker was Ralph Hartley, Policy Adviser with NDCS, whose presentation was entitled ‘Moving to Adulthood.’ Ralph’s session was extremely interesting and factual and provided conference with practical views and issues of transition for d/Deaf young people, looking to the future. Ralph also let a workshop session.

At the end of the morning session, presentations were made to outgoing officers of both associations. Maria was unexpectedly presented with a bouquet of flowers by her daughter in recognition of the achievement in the launch the new book.


The ever-popular afternoon workshop sessions were provided by:

  1. Ralph Hartley: Deaf Students in FE: The Future.
  2. Peter Jackson: Communication Support in Bygone Ages.
  3. Miriam Marchi: Notetaking for Deaf and Disabled Students.
  4. Robin Ash: Bilingualism.
  5. Dilys Palin: Lipspeaking: What do you know about it?