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The Lanarkshire AAC Partnership

  • Pauline Downie (NHS Lanarkshire)
  • Ailsa Adams (NHS Lanarkshire)
  • Dawn Cunningham (North Lanarkshire Council)
  • Irene Houston (South Lanarkshire Council)
  • Pauline McCartan (HOPE for Autism)

A Scottish Government initiative to improve the services for people who use AAC commenced in 2012 with three years of funding. The vision was for a country where "People who use AAC are included, free from discrimination, and live in an environment that recognises their needs and adapts accordingly". Our aim was to realise this vision in Lanarkshire.


A stakeholder event was held in April 2013 with representation from both local authorities, NHS, the third sector and people who use AAC and their families. From this event, the Lanarkshire AAC Partnership was formed. A steering group ensured equitable allocation of funding and a part-time post was funded for the project work to be carried out.


We now have: a successful partnership working (20 joint projects completed across Lanarkshire); better access to AAC equipment; local specialist assessment; and a new pathway to access multiagency AAC services, developed in consultation with people who use AAC.


We have improved the quality of life for people who use AAC. We have more integrated, collaborative working with clearer pathways, roles, and responsibilities for workers. The Lanarkshire AAC Partnership will continue to raise awareness through our awareness-raising Campaign and work towards achieving the Vision.


  • The Scottish Government (2012) A Right To Speak: Supporting Individuals who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Level of Session 
Age Group 
All Ages
Primary school
Secondary school
Special school
Further/Higher Ed.