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No Speech but Lots to Say

The ACE Centre Advisory Trust works to advance, promote and encourage the effective uses of Assistive Technology (AT) in unlocking the potential of individuals with physical disabilities and and/or little or no speech; increasing their capacity to communicate and control their environment, and improving their quality of life.

The ACE Centre Advisory Trust has received a grant from the Department of Health to promote the meaningful involvement of adults, aged 16 or over, with little or no speech in planning and developing their local services. The project will run for three years. During this time, The ACE Centre Advisory Trust will work with adults with neurological conditions who are unable to speak, their families/carers and voluntary sector staff to plan, trial and evaluate different systems and strategies for achieving this aim.

To effectively overcome the disadvantage and discrimination experienced by disabled people it is essential that they should be involved in local health and social service policy design and service delivery at all levels. To achieve this, there is a need for:

  • Positive action to include disabled people from seldom-heard-from-groups;
  • Recognition that individuals with particular disabilities may require additional support and/or time to participate;
  • Provision of the appropriate additional support and/or time needed to promote effective involvement.

The project will:
  • Identify individuals with little or no speech who are keen to influence local service planning and delivery;
  • Work with them to identify and meet any additional support needs they might have;
  • Discuss and comment on local health and social services performances in relation to the Quality Requirements of the National Service Framework for Long-term Neurological Conditions;
  • Identify and engage local health and social services service policy makers in the project activities, and secure their ongoing commitment to consultation with the target service user group;
  • Result in the development of a workable set of principles and guidelines for effectively involving adults with little or no speech in planning and developing local services, together with recommended AT resources to support this process.


Section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 gives the Secretary of State for Health the power to make grants to voluntary organisations in England whose activities support the Department of Health’s policy priorities. The Section 64 General Scheme of Grants helps to strengthen and further develop the partnership between the Department of Health and the voluntary and community sector.