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Identifying Desired Outcomes for People who have Complex Communication Support Needs

  • Jacky Smith (Sense Scotland)

The aim of this workshop is to share the experience Sense Scotland's Partners in Communication Programe have had over the last year of asking people who use Sense Scotland services what is important to them. The Partners in Communication Programme has been funded by the Scottish Government Equality Fund. One of our aims is to support people with complex communication support needs to have greater influence over the services they use and to have more choice over their care and support


We used a range of methods, tools and approaches to find out from people with complex communication support needs what they felt were the most important outcomes to them. The methods used included focus groups, 1:1 interviews, and development of observation and recording tools. Participants included people who are Deafblind, people with profound and multiple disabilities, people with autism and people with dementia.


We are only one year into a three-year project, but already we are finding that a wide range of communication methods, observation and recording tools are needed to find out what is important to people with complex communication support needs. Staff teams also require ongoing support.


The methods used to elicit and record views and preferences of people are being shared with partner organisations. We are developing additional guidance for staff about outcomes, as well as updating our communication and support plan training to incorporate learning.

Level of Session 
Age Group 
All Ages