ICT and AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) Outreach Service

We provide an advice and assessment service for individuals who have physical and/or communication difficulties. This may be to enable the individual to communicate more efficiently, to access technology (e.g. computers), to record independently and to support their learning and understanding.

We understand that each school and it’s pupils are unique and aim to provide a flexible service to meet the particular circumstances, working together with you, parents, carers and students to support and enhance the communication and learning of young people with special needs.

For more information contact Tracey Fillan Tel: 01924 326103 (831 6103)

E-mail:

traceyfillan@fairfieldschool.co.uk

Assessing For Success

ICT plays a vital role here at Fairfield, as getting the right technology in place can make a real difference to learning outcomes for young people with disabilities.

In school, Tracey Fillan and Rosie Murphy provide ICT and communication aid advice and assessments for children with special needs across Kirklees. Their outreach team has an extensive assessment kit with high and low tech equipment, but are increasingly looking at new digital technologies to provide accessible and motivational solutions. 

We provide an advice and assessment service for children who have physical and/or communication difficulties. This may be to enable them to communicate more efficiently, to access technology, to record independently and to support their learning and understanding.

How the assessment process works

Following an initial referral from the local authority or school direct, we will visit the pupil in class and discuss with staff and pupil challenges being faced.

A pre-assessment form is then completed detailing crucial information about the pupil, such as seating requirements, communication methods etc. We also ask for copies of the Statement and therapy reports if appropriate.

An assessment meeting is then arranged at the school involving pupil, parents, therapists, school staff, and, if the pupil has a visual impairment, QTVI/ VI technician. 

We bring along equipment fully-charged, and, if appropriate, pre-programmed to suit the pupil based on the information we have. One team member acts as the key assessor engaging with the pupil and initiating responses about what equipment works for the pupil, and what can be eliminated. The second team member observes, makes notes and takes photographs and/or video for our report.

As this process can be tiring for pupils we take regular breaks to ensure a correct outcome. And suitable outcomes may not always be decided on the first meeting.

Before recommending a device we will consider factors such as:

  • Access – what method of access is easiest for the pupil?
  • Sound – is the level of sound loud enough for the pupil’s environment?
  • Voice – are the available voices suitable and appropriate?
  • Portability – is the device of the correct weight and size for the pupil’s needs?
  • Is the device easy enough to use/programme and will it cater for the pupil’s needs now and in the foreseeable future?
  • Is the pupil motivated to use it?