Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) Service

Hannahs has a specialist Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) Assessment service covering Cornwall and Devon. The term ‘Alternative and Augmentative Communication’ (AAC) refers to the use of various means of communication which can replace or support speech. These include a wide range of systems from complex PC based communication aids with synthesised voices (high technology aids), to simple technology aids which may contain only a few spoken messages, to books and boards (low technology) which a person with a disability may access via a finger point or by using their eyes.

All of these methods can make a huge difference for individuals, in terms of being able to express themselves independently. AAC enables people without the use of coherent speech to express basic needs, feelings, thoughts and ideas and to connect with others. Independent expression has many positive emotional, social and educational advantages.

AAC “offers people with a wide range of impairments new aspirations, expectations and life chances.”
(Scope, 2008)

We are now contracted by NHS England in partnership with the Bristol Communication Aids Service (BCAS) to offer the following:

  • Specialist AAC assessments helping the client to explore various communication aids: considering access methods such as switches or eye gaze, communication software packages, mounts to wheelchairs/ tables.
  • Flexible assessments that can be carried out by our experienced staff at Seale Hayne/Ivybridge or in the person’s home/education setting.
  • A multi-disciplinary team of speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and AAC technician with many years of experience and expertise in the field of AAC.
  • Assessments which are carried out collaboratively with families, carers and professionals.
  • A bank of AAC devices to trial.
  • Bespoke training to learn about the communication aid and how to implement most effective use.
  • Continued technical support and maintenance communication aid.
  • Opportunity of maintaining up to date knowledge on the latest technology via training days/communication aid roadshows.


The service is for all age groups.

If the client has complex needs and requires a Specialist Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Assessment, they may fit the ‘Criteria for NHS England Specialist Services’ (See below for download). If you/the client, fits this criteria a referral can be made using the referral form via your local speech and language therapist (see below for download).

If you/your client has been seen previously by our service and need to be seen again you can re-refer by filling in the ‘re-referral form’ (see below for download).

If you would like to find out more please email or telephone 01752 892461.

Once you have completed the form please forward it to our partners at the Bristol Communication Aids Service at or Bristol Centre for Enablement, Highwood Pavilions, Jupiter Road, Patchway, Bristol, BS34 5BW.

We are working in conjunction with BCAS (Bristol Communication Aids Service) to deliver an equitable AAC service to the South West.