Compass NHS England Specialised AAC Service
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is a term used to describe devices or systems that help people to communicate if they have difficulty speaking.
There are many ways to operate a communication device. These range from finger-typing and pressing specialist switches, to using the head to control a mouse – or even using eyes through an eye gaze system.
Our service is for adults (16 years and over) who have difficulty communicating using speech and may also have physical difficulties that further impact their ability to communicate. You can find out more about whether you or your client are eligible for our service in the NHSE AAC service specification.
As a summary of the criteria, to be eligible for NHS England Specialised AAC Services
A person must:
- be resident in England
- be registered with a GP practice in England
- have a severe/complex communication difficulty associated with a range of physical, cognitive, learning, or sensory deficits
- have a clear discrepancy between their level of understanding and their ability to speak
- be able to understand the purpose of a communication aid
- have developed beyond cause and effect understanding
- have experience in using low-tech AAC that is inadequate for their needs
A person must not:
- have pre-verbal communication skills
- lack of understanding of cause and effect
- have impaired cognitive abilities that would prevent them from retaining information on how to use equipment
Priority is given to people:
- with a rapidly degenerative condition, e.g. MND
- with communication aid equipment that has ceased to be functional, or is unreliable and does not meet their communication needs
- facing a transition to a new sector (e.g. school, college, workplace) or currently in rehabilitation provision
- at risk of developing significant psychological problems or challenging behaviour as a consequence of their inability to communicate without a communication aid
Our service covers west London (Brent, Croydon, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth)
Other UK Regional Specialised AAC Services