To describe Bridge College's high tech AAC assessment pathway and the impact of the multidisciplinary team approach we apply.
Research and practice has shown up to a 75% abandonment rate of AAC devices when students have transitioned from further education into adult services (Scope, 2007). In response to this the therapy team at Bridge College have modified the assessment process, applying an AAC Predictive Assesment Model (Glennon & Decoste, 1998) to consider the individual's communication needs, environment and motivation and to place more emphasis on family / carer involvement. The multidisciplinary team have implemented a collaborative decision-making process when selecting AAC solutions. This new pathway has been trialled and three case studies have been collated to review its effectiveness. Parent/carer questionnaires and accessible student questionnaires have been adminstered to rate overall satisfaction with the assessment pathway and AAC solutions.
Questionnaires from parents / carers yielded positive results highlighting that they felt included in the process and satisfied with training and ongoing support. Students reported that they are happy with their AAC and are aware of who to go to if they have any issues.
The evidence base for AAC asssesment is limited and further research in the area is required to identify the best methodology for continuing AAC device use during transitions within a challenging socio-economic climate. Follow up research needs to be completed in order to determine whether the Bridge College assessment pathway has led to a decrease in AAC device abandonment.