The Funding Process

Speak to your doctor (GP), nurse or social worker and ask them to refer you to a Speech & Language Therapist (SLT) as soon as possible. They will assess your speech and also enquire about swallowing.

The Funding picture in the UK is very mixed. In general what is available and how largely depends on the age of the person who requires AAC.

For an easy to read explanation of AAC commissioning click here.


In general we need to consider the following age groups:

School Age

If the requirement for a communication aid has been included on the Statement of Special Education Needs you are already in a stronger position than you might have been. This means that the Local Authority is under an obligation to provide the listed equipment, although in practice this is not always achieved. Often the Education Budget will not have included funds to cover expensive High-tech devices. There are many legal documents that can be used to support an application for funding of this equipment.

I CAN are the children’s communication charity. I CAN’s mission is to ensure that no child who struggles to communicate is left out or left behind.

Talking Point is a website all about children’s speech, language and communication. It is designed for parents, people that work with children, and children and young people themselves.

The Communication Trust is a campaigning voice for children with speech, language and communication needs.

Make-A-Wish Foundation grant wishes of children and young people aged 3 to 17 living with life-threatening illnesses.

Living Made Easy for Children Clear, practical advice on daily living equipment for young people

College/University Age

Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) will allow for a specialist equipment allowance during your course. Other funding is available to help you attend college, or support you at home if you are studying either full or part-time. Find out what’s available and how to apply here.


Adults should start by contacting their GP, who, as part of the NHS will be able to refer to specialist Equipment Services Units, or to Speech and Language Therapists (SLT) as well as Occupational Therapist (OT) and Physiotherapist who may all be able to help with issues of access and support. Funding may come from the NHS, or may have to come from Charities or Access to Work schemes.

The Sequal Trust  aims to bridge the communication gap by supplying specialist communication equipment for disabled people of all ages across the UK.

BEN benevolent funding helps the automotive and related industries provide care and support to employees and their dependants in time of need.

Turn2us help people access the money available to them – through welfare benefits, grants and other help.

The Equality Act applies to speech, language and communication needs in adults.