Dr Tom Griffiths

Lecturer in Assistive Technology

Computing, School of Science and Engineering

Tom Griffiths
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Tom has a clinical and research background in assistive technology (AT), with a principal career focus on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Tom is a registered Clinical Scientist and joined the University of Dundee as Lecturer in Assistive Technology in 2023, where he works in the School of Science and Engineering as part of the MSc in Educational Assistive Technology.

Tom has worked for most of his career in the NHS, supporting the selection and provision of AAC and computer access technology for nonspeaking children and adults with a range of disabilities. As a clinician, Tom was actively involved in the development and delivery of specialist AAC services across England, including a co-leadership role for one such service. Tom has worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital, The Institute of Child Health and at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust. Tom’s background also takes in aspects of engineering, systems design, medical device development and regulation, as well as usability and user-centred design. His design and development work has contributed to the development of commercial products, including the PANORAMIC Mio-Mask that supports people with communication difficulties in contexts where surgical masks are mandated. He has also contributed to the development of AT-specific professional competency frameworks and resources that are used nationwide in specialist assessment.

In 2020, Tom completed his PhD at University College London, with a thesis exploring how children with cerebral palsy learn to use eye-gaze control technology. This work sought to empower both users of technology and those who work to support them through addressing the knowledge gap around how the causal relationships needed to understand and use this technology are acquired by new users. Combining his research and clinical work, Tom has explored the contribution of children’s functional vision skills to the outcomes of their eye-gaze use: designing and carrying out experimental work to test this and highlight that it may be a key determiner in likely progress with this complex technology.



Tom’s primary research interests are eye-gaze technology, the use of vision as a communication and control modality, teaching AT and access systems, and the contribution of specialist assistive technologist roles to the support of AT users. He is part of several research groups and collaborations, including work with Cerebral Palsy Alliance in Sydney on a multi-national collaboration seeking to develop clinical guidelines for eye-gaze technology through stakeholder consensus.

Tom was an elected board member of the UK charity Communication Matters for seven years, where he took the lead for the charity’s research activity. He has presented at International Society for AAC conferences and both the British and European Academies of Childhood Disability. Tom’s publication history includes a recent book chapter on AAC for the Handbook of Electronic Assistive Technology, which gathered together contributions highlighting best practice and state-of-the-science.

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