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Communication Aids

Communication Aids are used to assist or replace speech. These can include writing, drawing, gesturing, signing and using a range of devices. These could be communication charts or books created for an individual using photographs, pictures, writing or other symbols.

Communication aids

Some of these tools are battery operated, such as a voice amplifier or a Lightwriter (a small keyboard which allows the user to type in words which are converted into speech by the machine). Some are more familiar, such as computers or IPADS, which are used to operate a variety of communication systems. Others may involve a number of systems which can interact with devices within a person's home.

How Can Speech and Language Therapy Help?

A Speech and Language Therapist can assist individuals to select the best system for their needs. These can be simple systems such as books or charts or more complex equipment depending on needs.

The Specialist Communication Aids Centres are based in Devon and Bristol. Some individuals will be referred to one of these centres if they have complex needs. This may involve travelling to the centre. If that is not possible, the Speech and Language therapist from the centre may visit the person at home in order to assess which type of aid will help the best.

The local Adult Speech and Language Therapy service can provide some equipment as a short term loan. For long term loans the local clinical commissioning group (NHS Kernow) will be contacted to see if they can assist or we may be able to suggest charities which you can approach for funding.

Before purchasing equipment it is highly recommended that you seek advice/assessment from a qualified Speech and Language Therapist, as purchase of the wrong type of equipment could be a costly mistake.