AAC Referrals and Assessments

AAC Referrals

Referrals to the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Assessment Team are through the child/young person’s speech and language therapist.

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Referral for the AAC Adviser, is automatically available to children who have been through the Cornwall Children’s Augmentative and Alternative Assessment Team (CAACAT) once a request for an involvement form has been completed.

Referrals are accepted from schools (usually the SENCO), to pupils that already have a high-tech communication aid provided by Cornwall Council.

Referral Criteria 

The child or young person must have:

  • An up-to-date communication passport
  • Comprehension level above expressive ability 
  • An ability to understand cause and effect (e.g. purposeful use of switches) 
  • Intentional communication
  • Turn-taking at some basic level
  • some form of reliable movement (e.g. hands, feet, eyes) 
  • Communication system in place and being used effectively across two seetings (e.g. charts, books or signing, but no longer meets the child's communicative needs)
  • Experience with a speech output device (e.g. BigMack, Clicker 6 or Go Talk)
  • Support and firm commitment from parents, carers and the educational setting to support AAC

The 'Request for Involvement' Form can be downloaded below. 

Complete the Request for Involvement Form 

The AAC Assessment Team is jointly funded by Cornwall Council and Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT). 

The assessment may take place over several sessions at the child's home and educational setting.

The assessment may include;

  • a casework meeting with the parents/carers, local speech and language therapist, education setting, and any other professionals involved
  • Referral on to Dame Hannah Roger’s Trust for an NHS assessment ( complex needs cases only)
  • Liaison with other professionals such as  Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Wheelchair services
  • observation and informal assessment of the child’s communication in different settings including the use of video.
  • a loan period  of a suitable aid if appropriate.
  • Mounting a loan device to a wheelchair if appropriate 

Following an assessment a loan device may be offered to the young person on long-term loan. Ongoing support with the device will be given by;

  • The child/young person’s speech and language therapist
  • An AAC Technical Officer (for training, breakages and repairs)
  • An AAC Adviser if the child/young person attends a mainstream education setting

The child/young person will be contacted after the first  two years of loan to check the device is in good working order and still meets their communication needs. A re-assessment can be requested by emailing the AAC team if the device is no longer suitable.