The first milestone agreed with the Big Lottery Fund has been achieved as the University of Sheffield has completed the first part of its research work: the systematic literature review. The review aimed to provide an overview of current knowledge regarding the use of high tech AAC technology. It identified 133 papers published in peer reviewed journals which provided insights into the people who may benefit from intervention, the technology, the potential outcomes and current provision. An article has been submitted for publication to a peer reviewed journal and a further article is in preparation. The first article identifies the factors that help or hinder the provision and ongoing use of high tech AAC. If accepted by the journal it will be published later this year. Information about the findings will also be made available on the research pages of the Communication Matters website.
An application for NHS ethics approval for the whole project is due to be submitted in March. Once approval is given the researchers at the University of Sheffield and Manchester Metropolitan University will be able to contact NHS users, patients and staff to ask them to participate in the research. In the meantime work is underway with other participant groups.
The University of Sheffield and Barnsley Hospital are holding an AAC focus group in London on 7 April. The research team are inviting specialist speech and language therapists who work with AAC to attend. For more information contact Zoë Clarke at Barnsley Hospital ([email protected]).
Communication Matters has been invited to give a presentation about the research project at Naidex 2011 on 5 April at the NEC, Birmingham.