Alison Matthews - Speech and Language Therapist / Senior Director

Alison worked with adults with Learning Disabilities in the NHS for over 26 years and more recently has worked with people with learning disabilities,  mental health difficulties and also dementia in the independent sector. Where possible the resources created for therapy are shared on the website. Alison is a Signalong tutor and a Talking Mats trainer.   

During her time in the NHS, Alison led the total communication project in Oldham Learning Disability Service introducing a range of approaches to supporting communication. Alison is passionate about ensuring people with learning disabilities have a voice and choice.
She is the author of the Communication Dictionary and a publication about parents with learning disabilities.

MSc Practice Development

BSc Speech Pathology and Therapy

Registered HCPC and member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

Member of RCSLT Clinical Excellence Networks for Adults with Learning Disabilities

Alison is a talking mats trainer, Signalong tutor and Registered Intermediary.

She has completed ADOS and ADIR training.

On running a CIC

A Community Interest Company is a type of social enterprise and run on a not for profit basis. We are fortunate to have a board

of non-executive directors who offer guidance and support and ensure the CIC is giving back to the ‘community of interest’, in our case people with learning disabilities and their communication partners. Some of the initiatives we are able to offer include free or subsidised training and free or low cost resources to support communication. Please look at the downloads section of the website and the online shop.

There are also some resources attached to previous blogs which may be of use.

Rhiannon Matthews - Director / Trainee Play Therapist

Rhiannon has been working with people with learning disabilities and complex needs for over 10 years. She has experience with both children and adults in a variety of settings.  She began working in care services and has more recently moved to education. She is a trained Forest School Practitioner and currently works with young adults with additional needs, facilitating Forest School programmes . She works hard to ensure people of all abilities can access outdoor learning.  


Alongside this, Rhiannon is training to be a Play Therapist (Msc). Play therapy uses play as the primary means of communication, as children innately express their inner worlds, thoughts and feelings through this modality.


BA Childhood Studies

MA Childhood Studies

L3 Forest School Practitioner

Kim is a qualified Level 3 Social Worker, Best Interest Assessor and Person Centred Planning Practitioner

who has 30 years of experience working with people Learning Disabilities.

Kim’s passion is supporting people to have a voice, she is a strong supporter of co-production

and meaningful engagement.

Kim is able to Support planning, Person Centred Planning Training, co-production, safe guarding training,

Advocacy work, Best Interest Assessments.

Kim Doolan - Social Worker

Emma Beckett - Communication Development Worker

Emma Beckett.jpg

Emma is a Speech and Language Therapy student, and has worked with Total Communication since December 2017.

Emma is passionate about advocating for people’s right to communicate, and has been fortunate to gain experience

in working with children and adults with learning disabilities during university placements.

Emma has regularly been a part of advocacy meetings with Total Communication on a voluntary basis. More recently,

these have been delivered online, and have been centred around developing co-produced training materials

with self-advocates with learning disabilities.


Emma has more recently taken on the role of communication development worker within the company, to develop

materials to support communication. These are available for download on our online store.


Sam Owen - Communication Development Worker

Sam Owen.jpg

Sam is a Final year speech and Language therapy student at the University of Manchester. She has been working with Total Communication since June 2020 and says 'Starting work during the Covid Pandemic certainly came with some challenges but as a team these have been overcome in order to make a difference to the lives of adults with learning disabilities'.

Sam has been involved in online group work with the self-advocate’s, which has included singalong  and designing

a training package around the communication difficulties people with learning disabilities face.


Sam says she wants to make a difference and feels 'so lucky to work in organisation where every other person feels exactly the same way'.


Angie Brain - Graphic Artist

Angie worked as a graphic artist for Oldham Multicultural Education & Language Service for several years

before embarking on a 24 year career as a senior graphic artist within the NHS. 

Angie has branded and helped establish many projects within local communities and is  experienced

in creating quality support materials, reports and infographics. 

Angie is a qualified trainer, project manager and event coordinator specialising in design, illustration

and marketing. She is also an exhibiting fine artist and book illustrator and an experienced board member.


NWRAC Art and Design