GSTT Assistive Communication Service

Age Range:

All ages

The Service:

Our assistive communication service supports adults and children with complex physical and/or communication disabilities. As part of this service, we assess adults and children with complex augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) needs. We provide AAC communication equipment and on-going support and maintenance for those that meet our referral criteria. We will also provide support and training to local community teams who are working with AAC.

Who is the service for?

This service is for clients with a permanent physical and/or communication disability.

Criteria for access to service

Clients must have a significant functional impairment which prevents them from being as independent as possible where all other standard solutions have been tried and are deemed inappropriate.

Accessibility of this service

This can include physical accessibility, adjustments to opening hours, any specifics around personal care/communication etc

How this is provided:

The Speech and Language Therapist assesses and supports your communication needs. This includes assessing and supporting language needs, recommending communication hardware and software, programming communication devices, setting communication goals with you and your family, supporting communication partners, and providing training to you, your family and local services.
The Occupational Therapist assesses and recommends different ways in which you may access your communication device if your hand and arm movements are limited. This will take into account the environment(s) in which you wish to use the device, what seating, positioning or wheelchair you use and how the device works with, attaches to, or fits with your seating or positioning equipment.
The Communication Technician works closely with the SALT and other team members, to provide you with technical support in operating your communication device. This includes training in how to use your device and software for you, your family and local services; customising the device to meet your communication needs; liaising with suppliers, and setting communication goals with you alongside the speech and language therapist.
The Rehabilitation Engineer works closely with the team to design and customise how the communication equipment interfaces with your seating/bed or mobility device. Where commercially available options do not meet all the requirements, the rehab engineer may develop a bespoke solution tailored to your individual needs. Risk assessments are a key part of their role, to ensure the safety and compatibility of your equipment.
The assistive communication service administrator is responsible for patient liaison and office administration.

How can I access this service?

Referrals are accepted from health, social care and education professionals. Referrals are accepted by post or email

How is this service funded?

NHS funded

Do you need to pay for this service?