Simon Judge, Senior Clinical Scientist at Barnsley Hospital and Honorary Research Fellow within CATCH was last night presented with an Honorary Fellowship in the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists’ (RCSLT) annual Honours Ceremony in London.

On learning of his award we caught up with Simon, “I am flattered to have been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists for my work in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).” He told us. “I have been incredibly lucky to work with many amazing teams and colleagues since starting my career in this field 17 years ago. I will accept this award in recognition of these colleagues.”

AAC, also referred to as “communication aids” refers to the methods used to supplement or replace speech for those with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken language. Stephen Hawking’s speech synthesizer is a well known example of this.

“AAC is a great field to work in – bringing together people from many diverse professions. Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) is one of the cornerstones of the field and I have been able to work with some inspirational SLT colleagues. I am not an SLT – I am a Clinical Scientist and have an Engineering background – but I feel that by working truly collaboratively with SLTs and colleagues in other disciplines, we have been able to move forward AAC design and service delivery and hopefully to improve the outcomes for those who rely on AAC to communicate. To be recognised by my peers in this way is a great honour.”

Since 1945 the RCSLT has used its annual honours awards to acknowledge the achievements of its members and those who have contributed outstanding services to SLT.

Professor Pam Enderby, MBE, Speech and Language Therapist within CATCH at The University of Sheffield shared her delight at Simon being awarded this honour: “Simon leads the Assistive Technology team at Barnsley Hospital who see many people with severe physical and communication problems. The team looks at how AAC technology and all types of equipment can overcome their problems and lead to better independence. Through Simon’s work in the Communication Matters programme he has also helped to ensure that governmental money is ring fenced for AAC. Congratulations, Simon.”

CATCH would like to take this opportunity to also offer our congratulations to Simon on this excellent achievement.