NHS England Specialised AAC and EC Services

NHS England commission Specialised Assistive Technology Services for people of all ages in England. These are provided through a number of organisations, some of which only provide Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) services, some only Environmental Control (EC) Services, and some both.


Specialised AAC services assess for and provide appropriate assistive technologies for people with a severe or complex communication difficulty associated with a range of physical, cognitive, learning, or sensory deficits and a clear discrepancy between their level of understanding and ability to speak.

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Specialised EC services assess for and provide appropriate assistive technologies for people who have a severe disability which restricts their ability to independently operate standard handsets for control of the environment and access to computer technology.

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COVID-19 AAC Resources 

Ask the experts

Want to know how AAC and EC services in England have been working with people who need AAC and/or Environmental control (EC) during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Zoe Clarke (Chair of NHS England EC Advisory Group), Richard Cave (SLT at Compass in London who also works for the Motor Neurone Disease Association – MNDA) and Julie Atkinson (Chair of NHS England AAC Advisory Group) have recorded an ‘Ask the Experts’ webinar for the MNDA about how we have been providing AAC and EC services during the COVID pandemic

Ace Centre

Remote Working during COVID-19; tips & strategies for AAC Professionals

Patient-Provider Communication Forum

Due to COVID-related respiratory illness, a greater number of people need breathing tubes or ventilator support, which takes away the ability to speak. Hospitals and healthcare workers need resources to support communication in alternative ways.
The Patient-Provider Communication Forum, with support from the USSAAC is providing a FREE bank of communication tools to download and print, in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.


ATIA have produced a series of free webinars in the ATIA Learning Center together with an updating collection of resources and strategies for using AT during this time provided by ATIA members and the broader AT community.


Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center in the US have published this page covering Communication supports for children and adults with complex communication needs during the COVID-19 pandemic

General Resources

Compass Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology Resources

Compass Specialised AAC Service has produced and collated a range of resources, including those around the response to COVID-19

Barnsley AT How-to Videos 

Barnsley Assistive Technology Service have aproduced a range of useful how-to  videos to demonstrate how to carry out a number of practical tasks related to the equipment we provide.

Ace Centre Resources

Ace Centre produce a number of resources on a regular basis. These range from resources to help you get started with AAC, Free Symbol & Alphabet charts as well as a range of publications for download.

ACT (Birmingham) Resources

ACT have published a useful guide on Voice and Message Banking Booklet
and a Symbol Based Communication Booklet

Assessment of Learning Process for AAC

ALP for AAC breaks down the learning process into 3 broad stages with 8 specific phases. Use this tool to understand and encourage your learner’s (client’s) progression with touch, switch, headpointing and eye tracking in AAC.

Understanding the virus and staying safe

It is difficult for all of us to understand the virus and what we need to do. It is particularly difficult if you have difficulty with reading or understanding lots of spoken words. This website points to others sites which have really useful ‘Easy Read’ resources which can help.

Communication Matters

Communication Matters is a UK-wide organisation that supports people of all ages who find it hard to communicate because they have little or no clear speech.

COVID-19 Resources for Home and Education


Great collection of useful links to technology and assistance, from all the main equipment suppliers and other sources.

NEW Home Access Licence and free HelpKidzLearn Resources from Inclusive Technology

HelpKidzLearn are sharing free resources and have launched a Home Access licence to help parents gain access to HelpKidzLearn during the COVID-19 outbreak.
This new license gives parents the opportunity to subscribe to HelpKidzLearn services on a monthly basis, at a reduced cost. Students will be able to continue learning with familiar resources, whilst parents are in control and have the power to cancel at any time.

Chatterpack’s’ Home Learning Resource Kit

Chatterpack has put together a fantastic and comprehensive list of inclusive home learning resources for schools and families. Scroll down for SEND specific resources and information, highly recommended!

Chatterpack’s specific SLCN & SEND free resource list

Direct link to Chatterpack’s specific list of FREE Speech, Language, Communication and SEND resources for schools and parent/carers – with lots of great links to information, resources and help during this challenging time.

CENMAC Home Learning Information Page

Useful collection of links and resources. Includes a direct link to Charlton Park Academy’s SEN resource areas which has some great downloads and links for helping with explaining coronavirus, educational resources and online games.

PrAACtical Resources: Dealing with the Covid-19 Pandemic

An interactive graphic with links to many free downloadable resources that can be used to support AAC learners. Includes visual schedules for handwashing, social narratives, videos, educational materials and more.

Learning Disability England’s Resources for Individuals and Families

A great list of information and resources about the virus and what can be done to stay safe, well and stay connected during this challenging time. For people with learning disabilities, their families, friends, professionals, organisations and allies.

Special Needs Jungle’s Distance education resources for children and young people with SEND

A comprehensive and growing list of information and resources for children and young people with SEND and their families.

COVID-19 Resources from Suppliers

AssistiveWare’s Blog Resources

Assistiveware are sharing a variety of blogs to address some of the different questions and problems to help navigate these difficult times.
Topics are updated regularly and include:
– Using Proloquo2Go to talk about the coronavirus.
– Keeping AAC devices germ free.
– Using AAC in hospitals during the coronavirus.
– Resources for using AAC at home.

Liberator Coronavirus Update

During the current COVID-19 health concerns, Liberator is working to ensure minimal disruptions to our business while putting the safety and well-being of our customers, employees and community as our highest priority.

Smartbox Coronavirus Information and Resources

Smartbox are providing electronic and printable Super Core grids to support communication around the issue of Covid-19.
Smartbox also offers the free SimpleAAC to support early AAC users to continue to develop their communication skills over the coming weeks.

Techcess – free Coronavirus communication boards

Techcess have free Coronavirus Communication boards for Mind Express. Topic categories cover: information, preventative measures and health in addition to specific pages for use during medical consultations.

Tobii Dynavox – free Communication & Teaching Resources

Tobii Dynavox has created some free resources to suppport communication and learning at home due to the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing measures. All of these resources and more can be accessed via your MyTobiiDynavox account. Follow the link to start downloading or sign up for your free account if you don’t have already have one.

Widgit Online free for 30 days

Widgit are offering a free and extended licence to anyone who needs it for their entire online suite.

Sign up for AACInfo, a monthly newsletter of all things AAC 

AAC Services

Listed below are Augmentative and Alternative Communication Services in England.

Access to Communication and Technology (ACT)

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Ace Centre (Abingdon)

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Ace Centre (North)

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Assistive Communication Service (London)

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Augmentative Communication Service (Great Ormond Street)

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Barnsley Assistive Technology Service

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AAC West

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Chailey Communication Aid Service

new link

Communication Aid Service East of England (CASEE)

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Compass Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology Service (West London)

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Dame Hannah Rogers Trust (Ivybridge)

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Electronic Assistive Technology Service (Lincoln)

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Guy’s and St Thomas’ Assistive Communication Service (London)

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Kent and Medway Communication and Assistive Technology Service – Adults (Canterbury)

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Kent and Medway Communication and Assistive Technology Service – Children (Canterbury)

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Regional Communication Aid Service (Newcastle)

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EC Services

Listed below are the Environmental Control Services in England.

Access to Communication and Technology

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Assistive Technology Service (London)

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AT Telehealthcare Team

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Barnsley AT Team

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Bedfordshire EC Service (Dunstable)

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Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire EAT Service (Derby)

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Dorset, Hampshire and IOW ECS (Bournemouth)

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EAT Service (Lincoln)

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Electronic Assistive Technology South West (Bristol)

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Kent and Medway Specialist Equipment Service (Gillingham)

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Luton EC Service (c/o North Thames RECES)

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Norfolk EC Service (Norwich)

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North East Regional EC Service (Northumberland)

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North Thames Regional Environmental Control Equipment Service (RECES)

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North West Assistive Technology (Liverpool)

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Peterborough EC Service

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Specialist Disability Service

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Suffolk EC Service (Ipswitch)

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