Some Health Authorities fund equipment for children, but funding is more likely to be provided by the Educational Authority. Some Educational Authorities have their own assessment services; some use regional assessment services (e.g. NHS AAC assessment services; the ACE centres in Oldham and Oxford; CALL Scotland in Edinburgh). All these services are knowledgeable about sources of funding. However, it can take a long time for money to be agreed and budgets are limited. Some families resort to buying equipment themselves, fundraising or appealing to charities.
Caudwell Children makes donations to children with a chronic illness or disability. They can provide 80% funding for a range of equipment and therapies e.g. Powered Chairs, Sensory equipment, Cycling equipment. They have discussed they would be welcome to have applications for AAC when clients do not meet specialised services criteria.
For adults, the situation varies from area to area. Some Health Authorities, PCTs and social service departments have a budget but many adults have to buy equipment themselves, fundraise or borrow equipment from charity.
Trial and Assessment
Whatever the source of funding, it is important that the person who is going to use the equipment has the opportunity to try it before purchase. An assessment is essential to ensure that the system meets the AAC speaker's strengths, skills and needs and that they have the opportunity to consider all the options available.
Funding and Assessment Services
Funding and assessment services are organised differently in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Find out more >