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IPAACKS: identifying and profiling AAC knowledge and skills

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IPAACKS: identifying and profiling AAC knowledge and skills

Over recent years, across the UK, there have been a number of government led initiatives around identifying the need for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), and reviewing AAC services. In June 2012, the report “A Right to Speak – supporting individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication” was published (The Scottish Government, 2012). Included in the recommendations was the need to ensure that people who use AAC have access to appropriate levels of high quality specialist assessment and support delivered as locally as possible. However there was little clarity about the levels of knowledge and skill required of staff delivering this assessment and support. NHS Education for Scotland commissioned the development of a competency framework for people supporting and working with individuals who use AAC.

“IPAACKS: Informing and Profiling Augmentative and Alternative Communication Knowledge and Skills” was published in January 2014, as a freely available on-line resource to support the learning and development of people working with individuals who use AAC (NHS Education for Scotland, 2014).

This presentation will provide a brief overview of the resource as well as a discussion of how it has been used to date. One possibly unforeseen advantage of the IPAACKS format is that it works particularly well within teams, engendering a common vocabulary and a feeling of shared responsibility towards promoting more effective communication and AAC use.


Janet Scott    
Scottish Centre of Technology for the Communication Impaired (SCTCI)
United Kingdom


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