Back in June 2017, ACIP:S hosted a technology discovery day and consultation event for adults who use AAC.
Six people came along with their family member or carers. Although the numbers were smaller than we’d expected, the people who were there were able to discover lots of new and exciting technology: communication aids, music, games, painting, computer access, and fun photos.
In the afternoon we were joined by Julie Carr and Jean Alexander from the Assisted Communications Team at the Scottish Government. This part of the day was an opportunity to share information about new developments and to get feedback and views from everyone.
Debbie Jans provided a brief update about the new Scottish legislation for AAC provision and support.
Everyone there had the chance to tell us what they thought about the AAC service they have been receiving to date. Participants were also asked for their hopes and vision for future AAC services and what they thought “support for AAC” should include.
People came from different parts of Scotland, and obviously their experiences were different. Most people were happy with the assessment process and with the funding process for their communication aid. People said that the assessment had been “exciting” because they had been given a voice for the first time. Feelings about support, including training in the use of the communication aid, were more variable and more polarised – with some people indicating that they felt they (and their family and friends) had received good support and training, while others said they’d received “zero”. Again there were different experiences relating to the process of getting a replacement communication aid.
Everybody had a chance to speak during this consultation, and everybody did speak. Julie and Jean will take this information back to their work in the Scottish Government.