To share the development, achievements, challenges and sustainability of AAC service that works across local authorities, disciplines and age groups.
The Communication Aids Referral Team (CART) was founded in Dec 2006 following a meeting of passionate like-minded commissioners in health, education and local authorities and at ACE Centre North who were determined to establish a sustainable service to support clients of all ages who needed AAC.
CART has been up and running now for six years. There have been several staff come and go into the team but it remains sustainable and robust. Many children and adults have been supported to get a voice via the service. The work of CART has been cited in the Bercow report and Jean Gross' communication report as a leading service of its kind. In 2011 CART received recognition in the National Shine a Light awards. CART is currently been used as a positive example and model for how services should look across the country in recent submissions to government.
We have directly supported many individuals to gain a voice. We have diseminated skills to a core specialist team and to the wider community such as families, schools, day services, community teams and therapy teams. We have championed the needs of clients with communication difficulties to commissioners, directors, NHS stakeholders and leads of services. We have enabled clients to speak to commissioners and those in power directly to champion the needs of others.