A small scale study was carried out to identify what data collection systems are currently in use across Scotland within Health, Education, Social Work and targeted Third Sector organisations, which might be of relevance to AAC service delivery. This project is part of the Right to Speak agenda (Scottish Government 2012) and is distinct from, but obviously referring to, the DofE project which has also looked at data collection in England, and a further piece of work also commissioned by the NHS Education for Scotland which also looked at AAC data collection systems in use.
An online survey technique was applied, supplemented by consultation with key individuals and organisations.
Although it was evident that some useful information is collected, it is ad hoc, not easily aggregated and frequently incomplete. The current IT support mechanisms for Speech and Language Therapy services in particular do not lend themselves to easily collecting reportable data around AAC service delivery. The project identified information which would be useful to collect.
The findings of this study reinforce the need for improved data collection systems to enable services to evidence and improve quality, efficiency and effectiveness, resulting in improved outcomes for service users and their families.