This paper discusses the practicalities involved in setting out to map all services with an AAC remit in England, including the reasons why the mapping was carried out in the way it was. Some of the data collected will be presented as a way of exemplifying how you would answer the question "What should we know about local AAC Services?".
Data were collected from local services with a remit to provide AAC in England. The mapping tool used was developed from the Practitioners Survey created for the Communication Matters: Research Matters Project. The mapping process provided an opportunity to carry out an audit of services against the CM Service Standards.
Data were gathered from over 200 services throughout England, with over 200 further services identified. It was thought that administering the tool over the telephone would promote the collection of high quality data and would result in a good return rate; subjective feedback from the process suggested that this was the case.
Using this method, we carried out the first national (England) survey of services providing AAC at a local level and obtained a wealth of useful data. This data has been used to understand the current level of provision of local AAC services. Through carrying out this process we have learnt more about what to ask when mapping services, e.g. we know more about the different types of services that exist.