Publication - Guidance

Provision of communication equipment and support: easy read guidance

Published: 24 Oct 2018

Easy read version of the Provision of Communication Equipment and Support guidance.

8 page PDF

1.4 MB

8 page PDF

1.4 MB

Contents
Provision of communication equipment and support: easy read guidance
Guide on the Definitions of Communication Equipment and Support

8 page PDF

1.4 MB

Guide on the Definitions of Communication Equipment and Support

Easy Read version

A man using low-tech communication equipment and pointing at himself, with two people watching and smiling. A woman communicating with another woman using high-tech communication equipment . A happy man in the community with lots of other people.

Introduction

A man and woman communicating freely with each other.

Communication is a very important part of our daily lives. Some people who have lost their voice or have difficulty speaking may need to communicate using special equipment and support. This can be known as Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).

A map of Scotland with a diverse group of children and adults next to it.

The Scottish Government wants to make life better for children and adults across Scotland who need communication equipment and support.

A hand holding a document with ‘The Law’ written on the cover.

To make this happen, we have changed the law so that all children and adults in Scotland have the right to the communication equipment and support they need.

Two large buildings, one with a sign saying ‘School’ in front of it, the other with a sign saying ‘Hospital’ in front of it.

Different organisations will be involved in giving people help to get the communication equipment and support they need, including Health Boards and Education Authorities. This guide gives these organisations the information they need to make this happen.

A group of experts.

Experts have worked with us to make this guide. We would like to thank everyone involved for their time, advice and support.

Part 1: Our Vision

A woman with a speech bubble that is crossed out.

People who have difficulty speaking or who have lost the ability to speak have the right to communication equipment and support when they need it.

A man and woman communicating freely with each other.

This is true for everyone, no matter who they are or where they live in Scotland.

A happy man in the community with lots of other people.

This will help them to play an active part in their communities and be fully included in society.

Part 2: Principles

Scottish Government logo

The Scottish Government promises to respect and protect the human rights of everyone in Scotland and make equality, dignity and respect a part of everything it does.

A hand holding a document with ‘Human Rights’ written on the cover.

Communication and being free to express yourself is a basic human right. People with communication difficulties might need Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) so they can fully express themselves in their daily life.

There are 5 principles

1. Dignity and Respect

A man using low-tech communication equipment and pointing at himself, with two people watching and smiling.

I have the right to communicate how and when I want.

My communication needs are as important as my physical needs, and my mental health and wellbeing.

People know how to communicate with me.

A girl in a wheelchair using electronic communication equipment to communicate with a woman sitting next to her.

2. Compassion

I get support to use my communication equipment from people who understand me and support my needs and wishes.

A man in a wheelchair using low tech communication equipment to make decisions. A professional woman is sitting next to him and watching him make his choice.

3. Included

I am involved in deciding what my communication needs are and what communication equipment and support I should have.

An information symbol with a ‘thumbs up’ sign next to it.

I get information about my communication equipment and support in a way that I can understand.

A woman is talking about communication equipment while a professional man listens.

I can give feedback on my experience with my communication equipment and support so that I can get the best service possible.

A happy man in the community with lots of other people.

My communication support enables me to take part in society and means I can do what is important to me.

4. Care and Support that meets my needs

A map of Scotland with a diverse group of children and adults next to it.

I have the right to equal access to communication equipment and support that meets my needs.

A member of staff with a ‘thumbs up’ sign next to her.

The people giving me my communication equipment and support should have the right knowledge, skills and experience, or have access to this.

A member of staff pointing to a member of staff from a different organisation.

If my local service cannot give me the communication equipment and support that meets my needs, another team with the right knowledge, skills and experience will be contacted to provide the right advice and support.

A calendar with a date marked and a ‘thumbs up’ sign next to it.

I will know when my communication equipment will be given to me and by whom.

A happy face with a ‘thumbs up’ sign next to it.

I will be given the right communication equipment and support as quickly as possible. This will be done in a way that suits my needs and takes my future needs into account.

Two people shaking hands.

My communication equipment and support will be given to me by organisations that work well together.

A man in a wheelchair using low tech communication equipment to make decisions. A professional woman is sitting next to him and watching him make his choice.

When my needs change my communication and support needs will be changed at the right time too, if they need to be.

5. Wellbeing

Three women sitting at a table with drinks. One woman is communicating with the others using high-tech communication equipment. All are happy and smiling.

My communication equipment and support enable me to do what I want to do.

A man and woman communicating freely with each other.

My communication equipment and support enable me to communicate with who I need or want to. This includes other people who use communication equipment.

A happy man in the community with lots of other people.

I am given the help I need to enable me to communicate in my daily life and in the community.

I am supported and helped to develop new communication skills.

My communication equipment will be appropriate, easy to use, and safe.

Part 3: Communication Equipment and Support

A man holding up a card and showing it to another man. The card has a happy face on it.

Communication equipment is any equipment that enables a person to communicate in a way that supports or takes the place of speaking.

Three women sitting at a table with drinks. One woman is communicating with the others using high-tech communication equipment. All are happy and smiling.

It might be used by people who can’t talk or who can’t talk clearly enough to meet their daily needs. The equipment is used to support a person to communicate in their daily life and help them do all the things they want to do.

A young boy growing older.

The equipment used can change over a person’s lifetime but will always include a communication aid that gives a message in place of speech.

A battery crossed out meaning ‘low tech’ and a battery meaning ‘high tech’.

Communication equipment can be ‘low tech’ (no battery) or ‘high tech’ (battery powered ). Some people might use both.

Low tech communication equipment

A man in a wheelchair using low tech communication equipment to make decisions. A professional woman is sitting next to him and watching him make his choice.

Some example of low tech communication equipment:

  • Pen and paper or a wipe board
  • Flash cards
  • Communication books with letters, words, pictures and/or symbols (these can be books with different pages of symbols for different topics)
  • A communication board with the alphabet or pictures set out on a grid
A hand points at a page in a communication book of pictures and symbols.

It takes time to make low tech communication equipment that suits the needs of each person.

High tech communication equipment

A woman sits at a desk, and is using electronic communication equipment to communicate with a woman who is standing next to her. The communication equipment is plugged into a power socket in the wall .

This is electronic equipment that needs to be powered by a battery or charged up at a power socket.

It gives a way to communicate with people face-to-face or at a distance. It usually has a voice output that can be supported by text, pictures or symbols. It is usually portable.

High tech communication can be simple or complicated.

Support

A man using low-tech communication equipment and pointing at himself, with two people watching and smiling.§

Everyone involved in giving a person communication equipment and support should know what the person’s needs are, how they should be met, and how the equipment is used.

This might involve working with the person’s friends, carers and people who work with them, to make sure the person is able to use the communication equipment to meet their needs.

Support given should meet each person’s own needs and aim to help them do what they want to do.

For more information please go to: https://www.gov.scot/Resource/0053/00535995.pdf


Contact

Email: Heather Palmer