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Case Studies

It's not the work that we do here at the ACE Centre that's amazing, it's the people that we work with. Time after time we're humbled and inspired by their sheer tenacity and desire to communicate.

Behind every successful tale is the hard work and determination of the parents, teachers, therapists and other support professionals who motivate, support and educate. Learning to communicate can be a long, tedious and frustrating process, but these case studies show what can be achieved with ambition and the right support.

These remarkable short films demonstrate how assistive technology can help individuals achieve their potential. The ACE Centres have helped many people of all ages to use technology to enable access to education, work and leisure, and these films celebrate just a few of their stories. Please use these videos, the production of which was supported by the Department for Education, to help promote the use of assistive technology - we'd like them to be seen by as many people as possible!

Donate now and help us to help more people like Aroob, Claire, Tamsin, Darren and Sandip.


Following her stroke, Aroob has significant word-finding difficulties which mean that she frequently can't think of the right word she needs at the right time. This short video shows Aroob in her mainstream school using a specialised communication app on an iPod Touch to visually search for the word she needs. This can then be spoken by the iPod, or Aroob can often say the word when she sees the symbol. Aroob and her peers think that having the iPod is cool - it's been a great boost to her self-esteem and confidence.
Click on the picture to watch the video.


Claire, who has cerebral palsy, is studying physics at Imperial College. She uses a ruggedized tablet computer that she accesses with a joystick and switch. The computer enables her to send and receive text messages - essential for coordinating a busy student social life! Although she often relies upon her own speech, she uses synthesised speech as a backup, or when she is giving talks or presentations. During tutorials, Claire's Study Assistant writes notes onto a DigiMemo that can be shared amongst other students. Interestingly, Claire's Tutor finds that the students engage much more with Claire's assistive technology than with the conventional whiteboard that they had all found a bit daunting! Claire has been a high flyer throughout her academic career and has aspirations to pursue a PhD.
Click on the picture to watch the video.


Tamsin, who has cerebral palsy, attends a mainstream primary school. She uses an eye-pointing communication book based on the ACE Centre's Look2Talk system. She also uses a Tellus communication aid with the ACE Centre's Talk Together vocabulary, which she accesses with a knee switch. Tamsin is able to communicate anything she wants using her Look2Talk book. She has a number of peers who are now able to communicate with her completely independently of any adult facilitation. Her younger brother is also able to communicate and play with her using the communication book. Tamsin is also helped to access the curriculum using the Tellus communication aid. Her communication skills are so valued by her peers that they have voted her to be their class representative on the school council.
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Darren, who has autistic spectrum disorder, attends a specialist college and uses a voice output communication aid (Proxtalker) as part of his communication strategy. He has used a range of communication systems in the past and has found in the Proxtalker an effective communication method for him. This short film shows Darren using the Proxtalker effectively across a range of settings with a range of people.
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Sandip, who's 40, has cerebral palsy. He uses a Lightwriter communication aid as part of his communication strategy, along with onscreen keyboards accessed with a sliding hand switch. He's an exceptionally fast switch user, achieving speeds of 0.3 seconds, and a joystick enables desktop navigation. Sandip has been working for many years but has now taken a career break to pursue a Masters degree in International Relations. His assistive technology has been essential for him to operate in the worlds of work and higher education. Just as importantly, it also supports his social life.
Click on the picture to watch the video.