Accessing AAC equipment

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is an important clinical intervention for many people with motor neurone disease (MND).

This information is for health and social care professionals working with people with MND. It provides suggestions for best practice in AAC provision, and where to find more information.

There is a wide variety of AAC devices and software available, with new products and applications being developed all the time. Because people with MND are unique, it is important to start with their communication needs and wishes first, before considering which AAC system will be most helpful.

A trial of a device before purchase is highly recommended. This can help to establish how effective it is for a person, and can provide evidence for funding. Many suppliers will offer trials of equipment, sometimes for a small fee.

Supplier involvement

Many AAC suppliers will visit a person with MND to demonstrate a new piece of equipment, but the speech and language therapist or another professional should be present to provide an unbiased opinion on the equipment’s appropriateness.

AAC suppliers are experts in the use of the products they supply, but speech and language therapists are experts in communication and have a duty of care to carry out a comprehensive assessment of a person’s ability and need. They should therefore be involved in any product recommendation.

The following sites provide up-to-date information on AAC equipment suppliers and specialist AAC services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland:

• Communication Matters suppliers
• Communication Matters AAC Forum
• Specialist AAC services in England
• Specialist AAC service in Wales
• Specialist AAC service in Northern Ireland

For information about AAC in Scotland contact MND Scotland or Call Scotland

Find out more

If you would like more information about AAC, please contact our Communication Aids Coordinator or our MND Connect helpline.

For further information and support contact our MND Connect helpline

mndconnect 0808 802 6262