A lack of data prevents researchers from answering fundamental questions such as "How many UK children are using electronic AAC?" and "How much money would fund AAC provision in the UK for 12 months?". We present a methodology for addressing this problem, our results, and go on to give examples of how the recovered data can be used.
Our research team made 213 freedom of information requests, covering every NHS trust in England, Scotland, and Wales. The trusts have responded by supplying the manufacturer, model, location, and year of purchase for every electronic aid purchased since 2006 (we shall discuss the reliability of the data in our presentation). The resulting data has been collated and analysed and we submit it to be examined by experts in the field in preparation for public release.
We show that there are massive differences in provision of AAC devices by trusts, and illustrate problems with data previously reported by companies to researchers. We show the reliance of the NHS on small subsets of device manufacturers and examine the slow uptake of iPad and other devices. For illustration we include a 'top-ten' of manufactures by revenue.