Talking Mats uses symbols as the basis for communication. Offered in both physical and digital version, it is designed to help people who have communication difficulties to think about topics and provide them with a way to effectively express themselves. As the sole provider of independent advocacy in East Dunbartonshire, our goal is to ensure that people have a voice, so the team at Ceartas have found this a helpful tool to use in a number our cases supporting people across the area.
“How do Talking Mats work?
Topics: whatever you want to talk about, e.g., pictures symbolising ‘what do you want to do during the day’, ‘where you want to live’, ‘who do you want to spend time with’, etc.
Options: relating specifically to each topic. For example: ‘How do you feel about going for a walk? Or living at home?’
Top Scale: this allows participants to indicate their general feelings about each topic and option. The meaning of the visual top scale can be adapted to suit the questions you are asking the person, for example, whether they are happy, unsure, or unhappy.
Once the topic is chosen e.g., ‘activities’ or ‘people’, the participant is given the options one at a time and asked to think about what they feel about each one. They can then place the symbol under the appropriate visual scale symbol to indicate what they feel.”
Visit the Talking Mats website for more information