Communication Aids
Selecting the right communication aid for an individual will depend on many factors,
such as their method of access and personal preferences. A specialist assessment
should be sought through a speech and language therapist or communication aid

Contacting an appropriate organisation or supplier to assess the user’s needs is
especially important if a standalone Voice Output Communication Aid (VOCA) is likely
to be of benefit (that is, when something more than a PC is required to support an
individual’s communication needs).

A key concern is to make sure that an individual has the right device to meet their
needs. However, be aware that getting the correct equipment with the correct software,
mounted in the correct place, controlled with a suitable method, will rarely be more than
40% of a solution. The most important part of any given solution is the personalisation,
training and ongoing support required to enable the user to deliver the conversation
they require.

What is a Communication Aid?
A communication aid is anything that helps an individual communicate more effectively
with those around them. This could range from a simple letter board to a more
sophisticated piece of electronic equipment.

It is not essential for the user to be able to read text in order to use a communication
aid. Many aids are symbol based and still provide full functionality in enabling the user
to communicate with others.

An electronic communication aid can be a device that has been purposely built for that
job, and does nothing else, or a standard computer running specialist communicationaid software with the added benefit of being a computer as well.

Communication Aids

Useful Organisations
Communication Aid Centres
These should be your first point of contact for advice on communication aids. They are
generally Health Service based. They provide an assessment and guidance service
and should also be able to refer you...