Creating an inclusive conference for people with complex communication needs | AGOSCI Conference 2022

Fast facts

Event: AGOSCI Conference 2022

Dates: 3 – 6 September 2022

Venue: Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart



AGOSCI is an inclusive group interested in enhancing the participation of all people with complex communication needs. Members include individuals with complex communication needs, family and community members, teachers, speech pathologists and other professionals.


To meet the varying abilities of around 400 delegates, every aspect of the AGOSCI Conference needed to be considered with accessibility and inclusion in mind. Building on the solutions and learnings from previous conferences, the Organising Committee also strived to build a stronger community network by creating a more welcoming and enjoyable experience for delegates’ families.


  • Communication Access training sessions by SCOPE were offered to local businesses in the Hobart CBD to help raise awareness of communication challenges and ensure delegates felt welcomed and included in the city. Conference and venue staff also undertook the training.
  • A BASE CAMP was introduced as a new space for family and friends to connect during the Conference. The space was set-up with Lego, colouring-in, books and toys. Activities run by mobile circus Social Circus Tasmania and performing arts company Second Echo Ensemble provided fun and engaging entertainment.
  • Key information about the Conference was compiled in an Easy English booklet for delegates who find it hard to read and understand English. Picture cards with common Conference-related questions and answers were located at the hotel reception and bar area.
  • The Conference room setup included wider aisles and space for wheelchair accessibility.
  • Food blending stations were available in catering areas and communication boards, with common questions were located at the hotel bar.
  • A dedicated quiet room with bean bags and space for stretching was available for delegates requiring a break.
  • In the lead up to the event, the venue invested in facilities including the implementation of buttons in toilets for automatic opening and closing of doors.
  • A dedicated changing room was created and equipped with a changing table and other facilities for delegates.


All delegates with varying communication and physical abilities were able to access the Conference and be included in all elements of the program. These initiatives and more will be incorporated in future conferences.

The Conference left a positive legacy through the free Communication Access training, which empowered local businesses to better engage with people with complex communication needs.

The new BASE CAMP was well received by delegates, their families and support people as space to be entertained and engage with other attendees. The Organising Committee also saw value in continuing this successful initiative.