Before you start this process we do encourage you to make contact with your local AAC team for support. If you are unsure how to access your local AAC team, please ring our free telephone advice line on 0800 080 3115 and we will try to help you to identify an appropriate contact point in your area.
If you plan to go with an Ace Centre self-funded assessment service we recommend you attend a free one-hour information appointment. These appointments are a useful first step in any effective assessment process.
We offer independent interdisciplinary assessments to identify appropriate assistive technology resources for people with physical and/or communication impairments to support their communication and learning.
We recognise the benefits of a partnership approach when completing assessments. Very few people manage effectively in isolation, and we encourage individuals, their families and involved professionals to work together as a team – from the very first step of identifying a need, through to the ongoing review and provision of support needed for each individual to achieve their long-term goals.
If significant others are not involved in the assessment process, this can lead to problems such as a lack of funding, inappropriate recommendations for equipment, training and support, and/or a failure in implementation. The end result is that the intervention does not succeed, and the individual is unable to move forward.
For these reasons, Ace Centre likes the ‘team’ to be identified from the beginning of the process: Our main objective is to facilitate closer working with the team to identify and achieve common and realistic goals.
Our assessment and training teams consist of Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Teachers and Technicians.
The referral form
A completed referral form is required in support of any assessment requested. The referral form is available:
The referral form should be completed in as much detail as possible to support the assessment and training team in planning and preparing for the assessment. It may help if the individual and all those who support him/her meet together to discuss the aims of the assessment prior to completing the referral.
A recent video of the individual is requested to support the referral. This will help the assessment and training team in planning for the assessment and determining what equipment may be required.
Ideally, the video should aim to show the individual:
- Interacting and communicating with others (showing any resources they use)
- Accessing a computer or other technology
- Completing activities that demonstrate the physical movements they are capable of
- In the typical range of positions they work in
Prior to the assessment
A service delivery meeting is held once a month to discuss and allocate any received referrals. Once your completed referral form is received it will be discussed at the next scheduled service delivery meeting and 2 members of the assessment and training team will be allocated to complete the assessment. They will then make the necessary arrangements for the assessment and confirm this in writing to those people identified on the referral form.
Who should be involved?
Ace Centre recognises the benefits of a partnership approach when completing assessments. The individual, family members and any professionals identified on the referral form will be invited to the assessment unless otherwise stated. This may include the local Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Teacher and/or Support Worker depending upon the individual’s needs.
Assessments are typically completed in an environment familiar to the individual. This may be the person’s home, school/college, day centre or work place.
Length of assessment
The length of time required for the assessment will vary but typically takes place over the course of a day. On some occasions it may be necessary to make a second visit and this will be included in the initial cost. The timings for the assessment will be agreed with the referrer initially and subject to modification as necessary dependent on individual needs.
What happens at the assessment?
Two members of the assessment and training team will facilitate the assessment. The session will typically commence with a general discussion with everyone concerned providing an opportunity to share any relevant information and identify aims and expectations.
During the assessment the individual will have an opportunity to demonstrate any resources they are currently using and they will be supported in trying out alternative resources and strategies that might be suitable. It may be necessary to work for short periods, with breaks to set up different equipment and work within the individuals levels of attention motivation and stamina.
At the end of the assessment it is useful if the group meet together again to discuss the assessment and consider potential recommendations and reach shared conclusions and appropriate solutions.
Following the assessment
Arrangements will be made for the loan of any recommended equipment to allow a period of further evaluation. Following this a comprehensive report will be compiled and sent to all those involved in the assessment. The report will summarise the assessment, outline conclusions reached and provide recommendations. The report will also include details of any software or hardware recommended with prices / suppliers and follow up action and/or training recommendations as appropriate.
Please Note: Ace Centre do not supply equipment. Once equipment recommendations have been made following assessment, it is the responsibility of the individual and those providing support to seek funding for the equipment and order it.