The information below provides general advice on funding an AAC device for a child, young person and adult. For more information see https://communicationmatters.org.uk/what-is-aac/assessment/specialised-services/#how

England

In England, there are 12 regional specialist assessment centres. These centres provide assessment for children, young people and adults with AAC needs under strict criteria, as outlined in Guidance for commissioning AAC services and equipment. If the need does not meet the criteria then local services are obliged to meet the needs of that individual. These needs may be met by a range of services.

For a child, if the requirement for a communication aid has been included on their Statement of Special Educational Needs then the Local Education Authority (LEA) is obliged to provide equipment.

You can use legal documents to support an application for this funding. The government’s information on SEND includes letter templates that you can use to contact your LEA to request a statutory SEND assessment or to challenge an assessment.

If you are a young adult, you may be able to claim a Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) to pay for specialist equipment you need while studying at college or university.

If you are an adult, your local speech and language therapy service should be able to access local NHS funding for non-specialist funding.

Scotland

Wales

Northern Ireland

Charities

If the local NHS service declines to fund there are a number of charities that will either fund or fundraise for equipment.

The Sequal Trust

The Sequal Trust is a registered charity covering the whole of the UK. Its main objective is to provide support to children and adults who are severely disabled and depend on electronic communication aids and adaptations to alleviate their problems. The Sequal Trust is membership-based and open to people of all ages with speech, movement and learning difficulties.

The charity receives no public funding, and relies on donations, legacies, investment income and membership subscriptions for income.

Contact:
www.thesequaltrust.org.uk
Tel: 01691 624222
3 Ploughmans Corner, Wharf Road, Ellesmere, Shropshire, SY12 0EJ

Find a Voice

Find A Voice supports children and adults who have a severe speech, language or communication difficulty, and who may require some form of AAC support. This can include signing, symbols or a communication aid. Support is provided in person, by telephone and via their website.

Contact:
www.findavoice.org.uk
Tel: 01233 640443
49 Beaver Lane, Ashford, Kent, TN23 5NU

Aidis Trust

The Aidis Trust is a charity that provides free and impartial advice and support on technology to help disabled people across the UK. It aims to empower disabled people and those who support them, through knowledge of and support in using assistive technology, to help them communicate and increase their independence by using technology to help reduce isolation. Services are offered free of charge for people who are unable to receive statutory support in their area.

Contact:
www.aidis.org
Tel: 0808 800 0009
10 Ironmonger Lane, London, EC2V 8EY

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association

The Motor Neurone Disease Association is the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning. It is a membership organisation with nearly 8,000 members, forming a powerful national and local network that provides information and support alongside fighting for improved services.

Contact:
www.mndassociation.org/
Tel: 01604 250505
PO Box 246, Northampton, NN1 2PR

Dreams Come True

Dreams Come True is a national UK charity that works hard to make dreams come true for children and young people with serious and life-limiting conditions aged between 2 and 21 years old. Fulfilling a dream can help a child or young person to think beyond their illness or disability and focus on something highly positive and empowering. The experience can create amazing memories for entire families and its friendly and knowledgeable team are there to help every step of the way.

Contact:
www.dctc.org.uk
Tel: 01730 815000
Knockhundred House, Knockhundred Row, Midhurst, West Sussex, GU29 9DQ

Make-A-Wish Foundation UK

Make-A-Wish was founded in 1986 to grant magical wishes to seriously ill children in the UK. Its volunteers spend nearly every weekend out and about across the country. Regional offices are now taking on even more volunteers so that they can keep granting wishes.

Contact:
www.make-a-wish.org.uk
Tel: 01276 24127
329-331 London Road Camberley Surrey GU15 3HQ

Just4Children

Just4Children provides support for families to help their children with disabilities and sickness. It is passionate about the relief of sickness and preservation of health of children in the UK and Ireland. To this end, it provides and assists in the provision of grants to enable them to obtain medical treatment, therapies, living environments, equipment and holidays that would not otherwise be available to them.

Contact:
www.just4children.org
Tel: 01892 710155
12 Sussex Mews, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 5QJ

Several suppliers of AAC equipment provide useful funding information, which applies to the wider issue of funding and not just their own equipment:

Note: other suppliers of AAC equipment are listed on the Communication Matters Supplier Database and the ACE Centre SpeechBubble database

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