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Shine a Light Summary

The three-year AAC Evidence Base research project was funded by the National Lottery through Big Lottery Fund. We were awarded a grant of £467,751 in December 2009. Communication Matters led the project, working with three research partners: the University of Sheffield, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Manchester Metropolitan University. The research work started in June 2010 and ended in July 2013.

This groundbreaking project provided fundamental information about the need for, and provision of, AAC that can be used to improve services across the UK. The project created an online AAC Evidence Base to house current knowledge to present information in a variety of accessible formats. This information can help professionals to improve their services, and empower individuals to say what they need. We also set up a Research Involvement Network – this promotes the involvement of AAC users in research.

Shine a Light Final Report

We held a series of events around the UK in April and May 2013 to disseminate the AAC Evidence Base Project’s final report, Shining a Light on Augmentative and Alternative Communication. This project formed the evidence for changes that have been made to the services within England.

The report has five strands:

You can download the following reports and resources:

Final Report: Shining a Light on Augmentative and Alternative Communication Download (pdf 400KB)

Research Report: Beyond the Anecdote (by project partners University of Sheffield in collaboration with Barnsley Hospital) Download (pdf 5MB)

Examining the Need for and Provision of AAC Methods in the UK (published in Advances in Clinical Neuroscience & Rehabilitation, Vol. 13, No. 4. July 2013, pp. 20-23) Download

Systematic review of the literature on barriers and facilitators to use of high technology augmentative and alternative communication devices Download (pdf 146KB)

Interventions Using High-Technology Communication Devices: A State of the Art Review Download (pdf 209KB)

What factors do we need to consider when providing high-tech communication aids? A Lay Summary Download (pdf 553KB)

Press release: Thousands Missing Out on Right to a Voice Download (pdf 553KB)

Dissemination Seminars and Press Releases

Single Case Study Template

We developed the single case study template to support the collection of consistent and relevant case data. The template is a culmination of input and advice from AAC users, their families, professionals and researchers. It is intended to support more robust data collection.

We have created some documents on how to contribute to our ever-growing case study database of submissions from AAC users. They can be downloaded below. If you would like more information, please email [email protected]


Information for Participants – if you want to contribute to the Case Study Database Download (pdf 0.1MB)

Case Study Template – if you want to contribute to the Case Study Database Download (pdf 0.5MB)

Information about the Case Study Template and ICF Codes – ICF codes (WHO, 2001) describe peoples’ skills, abilities and challenges; these International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) codes are often used in research papers Download (pdf 1.5MB)

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