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Communication aids (AAC)

Communication aids help those with problems communicating in different ways, depending on their situation


iPhone adapted with assistive technology so that a brain injured person can communicate with their carersCommunication aids are designed to help people who have difficulty speaking.

This equipment is sometimes known as alternative and augmentative communication or AAC.

Some people have problems using the muscles of their mouths and tongue to articulate words. This is because their accident or illness has affected the areas of their brain that control the muscles involved in speaking. They know exactly what they want to say but cannot say it.

Other people have difficulty thinking of the words they need to use, because their accident or injury has affected the areas of their brain that process language.

People with brain injuries may have difficulties with speech or with language, but often have a combination of both. Other problems can also affect the ability to communicate, such as memory problems, impulsiveness and sensory problems.

Communication aids

  • help those with problems communicating in different ways, depending on their precise situation. They can provide an electronic voice or organise words and ideas simply by using pictures and symbols to aid communication.
  • range widely in the level of technology used, from paper charts and books to complex electronic devices. It is vital that the correct piece of equipment or communication technique is matched to the person who needs help.

The Compass team deals with the full range of communication aids, from paper based items to digital products like tablets, iPhones and Android devices.

The team carries out ongoing assessments to ensure that the right equipment is chosen for every person.