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"Helpful to do it together": Ensuring teams are equipped to support people who use AAC

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Background: People with complex communication needs should have access to high quality assessment and support. Individual staff and teams should be able to identify the necessary skills, knowledge and values to enable services users to reach their potential.

Aims: The purpose of this study was to identify the knowledge and skills required by staff working in a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation service using a self assessment framework called IPAACKS (Informing and Profiling AAC Knowledge and Skills) and to evaluate how the process improved staff knowledge and confidence.

Method: Thirteen staff members from different disciplines met twice over 3 months to complete the IPAACKS framework and create individual knowledge and skills profiles. Their confidence levels for their identified knowledge strands were collected pre and post process. Participants completed a questionnaire on the process.

Results: Participants identified the key AAC strands for their jobs and the level of knowledge and skills required. Confidence ratings for each strand increased over the 3 months. The main themes from the data were that IPAACKS increased awareness of AAC and the person’s needs. It also enabled teams to improve their knowledge and skills. However, adequate time is needed to allow staff to complete process.

Conclusion: Bringing a rehabilitation team together to work through IPAACKS framework raised the profile of AAC users and improved confidence of individual staff members by identifying the knowledge and skills required. Teams can use this to develop training programmes and there is potential for this process to be transferred to other teams and services.


Laura Renfrew    
Glasgow City Rehabilitation Service
United Kingdom

Carol Taylor    
Glasgow City Rehabilitation Service
United Kingdom


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