Communication aids

People with severe problems in speaking or writing can be helped by communication aids at home and work.

Types of communication aids

If you have severe difficulty in speaking or writing, communication aids that may be of use to you include:

  • charts with pictures, symbols, letters or words
  • electronic voice output devices
  • specially adapted computers
  • braille - is the alphabet and numbers, designed to be read by fingers rather than eyes
  • moon - is a system of raised shapes, which can help blind people, of any age, to read by touch
  • large print
  • computer speech software for blind / partially sighted

To find out more about communication aids go through your doctor (GP) to contact your local HSC speech and language therapy service.

Staff at this local service will, if necessary, refer you to HSC regional centres which are staffed by speech and language therapists, and sometimes occupational therapists.

The therapists can assess your needs and advise on the most suitable aid.

Where to get communication aids from

Communications aids for blind and partially sighted can be obtained by contacting the rehabilitation worker from your local HSC Trust sensory support team.

Other communication aids may also be obtained from:

  • your local Health and Social Care Trust (HSC) speech and language therapy services
  • Education Authority (EA)
  • schools and colleges

Communication aids for work

Your local Jobs and Benefits offices and Job Centres can also help if communication aids are needed for work. Contact your local Jobs and Benefits office and speak to an advisor.

Equipment is also available through the Access to Work programme.

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