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What is Talking Mats?

Talking Mats is an interactive, research-based tool that helps people express their opinions, ideas and preferences about a topic or issue. It can help people with Complex Communication Needs (CCN) improve the quality of their contributions when making decisions about their life.

A ‘Talking Mat’ involves at least two people: the 'Thinker' (the person with CCN thinking about the issue) and the 'Listener' (the person facilitating and supporting the thinker). Talking Mats uses three sets of picture communication symbols: topic, options and top scale, and a space on which to display them.

Talking Mats can be used in lots of different ways. For example:

  • To find out how someone feels e.g., about where they live, who they spend time with
  • To find out what someone prefers e.g., places they go, activities they do
  • To find out someone’s opinion e.g., foods they like and don’t like
  • To make decisions e.g., about their goals, post-school plans

About the Talking Mats workshop:

The Talking Mats training is delivered in two x half day in-person sessions, by an accredited trainer for up to eight participants. The training is for allied health professionals, carers and support workers who support, work with, or interact with someone who experiences communication difficulties. The tool is applicable to a wide range of health, social work, residential and education settings.

All participants who attend official Talking Mats training will be registered with Talking Mats in Scotland. You will also benefit when purchasing resources, by receiving special pricing for holding a Certificate in Talking Mats. 

 3 rows of picture cards on mat on desk with hand indicating middle row and others hands together on desk

Participants will have an opportunity to:

  • Learn how to implement Talking Mats to structure client conversations to gather their views and opinions
  • Learn how to evaluate appropriateness and effectiveness of Talking Mats
  • Learn how to reflect on your own communication and evaluate your own ongoing implementation of Talking Mats to ensure validity
  • Learn how to personalise Talking Mats to your own setting.

Please visit the Talking Mats Australia website to find out more about this tool: 


To find out when the next Talking Mats workshop is being run please visit the Events Calendar or to enquire about booking a Talking Mats group workshop contact our Training Lead on 08 9381 0600 or email training@indigosolutions.org.au

Condensed photo of Indigo's Talking Mats Training General Flyer Download Talking Mats Training Flyer