Intensive Interaction Australia's 'DownUnder' Conferences

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2014 Melbourne Conference

Intensive Interaction Australia’s third conference was held in Melbourne Victoria on 28-29th March 2014.

It provided a meeting point and a wealth of information for professionals and parents from around Australia and New Zealand who have been using Intensive Interaction with their students, clients and family members.

Speakers addressing the 2014 Melbourne conference were asked to address the topics that practitioners most commonly ask at network meetings and professional training events. Contributions answering the bigger question of “what do we have to do to get Intensive Interaction noticed and supported at higher levels?” were balanced with the smaller no less important question of “how might we improve our own Intensive Interaction skills?”

Academics, school principals, special educators and allied health professional addressed this question across one and a half days in ten presentations including

Our keynote speaker was Prof Juliet Goldbart who is an acknowledged international authority on carrying out action research in the field of communication and intellectual disability whose current area of interest is appropriate methodologies for building up the evidence base for communication interventions for people with profound intellectual impairments. See e.g. "Communication and People with the most Complex Needs What works and why this is essential?”

The slides from the 2014 Melbourne Conference presentations can be seen here.

Since its beginnings in Australia in 2003, Intensive Interaction has been recognised and recommended as a practice by Deakin University in Melbourne; Australian Psychological Society (APS); Education Victoria’s ABLES resource; Education Queensland’s Special Education Curriculum Cluster; and Checklist of Communicative Competencies [Triple C].

Previous conferences include:

2008 Brisbane Conference

In 2008 the Inaugural Intensive Interaction DownUnder Conference in Brisbane was the first opportunity for practitioners to realise that they were actually a part of an Australasian Community of Practice. The conference was supported by Bayside SDS and Red Hill Special School in Brisbane. Dr Dave Hewett and Graham Firth came from UK to address the conference attended by 150 professionals from across Australia and New Zealand. It was our initial 'who are we?' moment

2011 Adelaide Conference

The following conference in Adelaide was an opportunity to compare journeys and ‘wow’ moments but more importantly to share insights about the implications of ‘long game’ among the conferences 170 delegates. Presentations were not only about how topics of communication and the practice of Intensive Interaction change as students and clients experience established communicative relationships, but also how professional teams evolve and encounter different phases of practice.

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