Developing an effective AAC service within the NHS and Education settings



Practice Report

  • Helen Robinson (Bradford SLT Service)
  • Shelagh Crossley (Chellow Heights Special School)


We have worked for the past five years to develop an effective AAC service jointly between the NHS and Local Education Authority, finding solutions to a range of challenges presented within both these settings, where time and resources are often limited. We aim to share some of the challenges and some of our solutions.


We have developed a variety of forums to meet the challenges faced in implementing AAC effectively across Health and Education, where time and financial resources are often stretched.


We have developed key forums aimed at developing staff competencies, increasing effectiveness and raising service user satisfaction regarding AAC implementation: an SLT peer support group; training courses; a newsletter; an AAC multi-professional committee; and a regular advice and information day for families, professionals and AAC users.


Our AAC service is continuing to evolve and are continually evaluating and adapting our forums. We are currently looking to use the IPAACKS competency framework. We feel we have made significant progress and are proud of our achievements given the time and financial limitations associated with working in the NHS and Local Authority Education. We would love to share our service model with others in a similar situation.

Level of Session


Age Group



Primary school
Secondary school
Special school

Download the Session Handout