Provision of communication equipment and support: guidance

Practical information on the principles of communication equipment and support in using that equipment.

Part 2


The Scottish Government is committed to respecting, protecting and implementing human rights for everyone in Scotland and to embedding equality, dignity and respect in everything it does.

Communication [Freedom of expression] is a basic human right and is enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights . To this end, individuals with communication impairments may require augmentative or alternative equipment to realise their communication potential.

1. Dignity and Respect

1.1 I have the right to communicate as and when I wish.

1.2 My communication needs should be considered as important, and managed with the same urgency as my physical needs, and my mental health and wellbeing.

1.3 People know how to communicate with me.

2. Compassion

2.1 Support to use my communication equipment is provided by people who understand and are sensitive to my needs and wishes.

3. Included

3.1 I am involved as an active participant in defining my communication needs and making decisions about my communication equipment and support.

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

3.3 I am actively encouraged and supported to provide feedback on how I experience my communication equipment and support, in order to improve that service.

3.4 My communication support enables me to participate in my local community and wider society and means I can do what is important to me.

4. Responsive Care and Support

4.1 I have the right to equitable access to communication equipment and support to meet my communication needs.

4.2 I can expect that if my need for communication equipment and support cannot be addressed by my local service, a referral will be made to a team with appropriate knowledge, skills and experience.

4.3 I can expect that people involved in providing communication equipment and support to me will have the required knowledge, skills and competencies, or access to this.

4.4 I can expect to be informed and reassured about when, how and by whom my communication equipment will be provided.

4.5 I will be provided with the right communication equipment and support in a timely manner that meets my communication needs, informed by clinical judgement and taking into account my anticipated future communication needs.

4.6 Provision of, and support to use, my communication equipment will be delivered through multi-agency collaboration, underpinned by local working arrangements, supporting the smooth provision of communication equipment.

4.7 When my needs change I can expect that my communication equipment and support needs will be reviewed in a timely manner.

5. Wellbeing

5.1 My communication equipment and support enable me to achieve my personal outcomes.

5.2 My communication equipment and support enable me to communicate with who I need or want to, including other people who use communication equipment.

5.3 I am encouraged and helped to achieve my full communication potential in my daily life and in the community.

5.4 I am supported and guided in the development of new communication skills.

5.5 My communication equipment will be appropriate, efficient and safe.


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