This project (funded by NHS Education Scotland) aimed to develop, in partnership with individuals who use AAC, a set of quality statements relating to AAC services in Scotland.
We conducted an online survey, individual interviews and focus groups with a range of AAC users and their communication partners. A model of co-production was used whereby quality associates from Capability Scotland were trained to carry out focus group and individual interviews. The interviews were conducted using a Talking Mats framework. The questions were based on the report 'Quality Standards for AAC Services' (Communication Matters, 2012).
The process behind taking a detailed report and making it accessible to a range of AAC users is not straight forward. TheTalking Mats framework was judged to be the most useful. Critical to this process is the need to identify a clear structure and use terms which are accessible to various AAC users. The process will be discussed and the results of the online survey, focus groups and interviews will be reported on.
It can be difficult to genuinely include the views of people who have communication support needs in service development. Working alongside people who have disabilities in conducting interviews and developing accessible interview techniques can help overcome some of the challenges inherent in user consultation.