Talking Mats® Foundation Training Talking Mats® is a visual framework which uses images to help people with communication difficulties. It has the potential for use with a wide range of people and is an approach which helps them think about issues and provides them with a way of expressing their views more easily.

This training is suitable for anyone interested in improving communication for people with dementia.


Course Aim:
To teach participants how to use Talking Mats®, a unique communication tool, with people with dementia and how to be creative in terms of how to use the framework and to think about developing the use of Talking Mats® within their own work setting. Each participant will receive a starter pack of Talking Mats® symbols.

Course Objectives:

  • Discover the background to Talking Mats®
  • Gain an overview of the evidence base
  • Learn the key principles of the Talking Mats® framework
  • Discover a model to consider who can and cannot use Talking Mats®
  • Hands-on practice
  • Learn how Talking Mats® can be used with people with a variety of conditions
  • Learn how to use sub-mats to explore issues in more depth


Learning Outcomes:
At the end of the day learners will:

  • Understand the background to Talking Mats®
  • Understand the key principles of using Talking Mats®
  • Know who can and who cannot use Talking Mats® effectively
  • Know how to measure effective functional communication
  • Understand the different Talking Mats® resources they can use
  • Plan how to use Talking Mats® in their own work setting  


Training Style/Approach

  • Explanation
  • Demonstration
  • Hands-on practice
  • Video examples
  • Reflection in groups


Dr Joan Murphy & Nicki Ewing
Joan is a Research Speech and Language Therapist and Co-director of Talking Mats® Ltd. She worked with people with acquired communication difficulties with the NHS for many years and began working at Stirling University in 1989 as a researcher. Since then she has led a number of research projects and has a wide portfolio of publications. Together with colleagues, she has developed Talking Mats® into a well-respected communication framework, which is used worldwide with a wide range of people.

Nicki joined the Talking Mats® Team in January 2016. She has worked as a social worker in adult services and most recently as a planning and commissioning officer for people with learning disabilities. She became an accredited Talking Mats® trainer in 2013 and is passionate about how Talking Mats® can help staff to improve the quality of life for people with communication difficulties by ensuring that they have their voices heard. 


Further information
Talking Mats®, dates will soon be added back to our Open Course Programme. Please check back regulary.

Like all of our Educational Courses, Talking Mats®, can be commissioned by an organisation for delivery in-house. To commission bespoke training for your service, please or phone 0845 257 2250.

‚ÄčFor more information, please visit the Talking Mats® website