Meet the team
Speech and Language therapy Team leader
Derbyshire Community Health Services
- England - East Midlands
- Helen Wood
- Sofia Nutall
- Lisa Salton
- Louise Oram
- DCHS development team
What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to your chosen theme?
We are going to address the challenge of how to get communication aids out of cupboards and into users everyday lives so they can interact successfully with their friends, families and local communities. We want to give users the chance to get more out of life and have fun and make connections.
It links to the themes by providing therapy input which is innovative in its format – linking families to support each other and work through an informal programme together with guidance and support from an SLTP rather than traditional input of a 1:1 appointment in isolation.
It addresses the barriers associated with using a communication aid – technical skills, practical ideas, psychological impact e.g embarrassment, grief for the loss of communication skills, rejection.
It addresses the barriers of loneliness and intergenerational interaction – young and old communicating with each other and enjoying it 😊
What does your project aim to achieve?
1. to link young and old AAC users and their families
2. to design and deliver a programme of work which is supported by an SLTP
3. to get people excited about communicating
Improvements for the Participants:
1. improved technical skills
2. improved confidence and self-esteem
3. improved communication with their family, friends and local community
4. increased interaction leading to better general well being
Improvements for Commissioners:
1. a high impact, efficient and effective service
2. improved well being in the AAC users of Derbyshire
There are many ways to measure the impact of this work – qualitatively and quantitatively. This could be weekly rating scales, pre and post questionnaires, data re accessing health services etc.
The best sign of the project being effective would be to see people smiling and enjoying communication.
How will the project be delivered?
1. A speech and language practitioner (SLTP) will meet communication aid users and their families, explain the project, register their interest and assess their suitability.
2. The SLTP will then link communication users and their families into pairs or small groups.
3. The specialist speech and language therapist in alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) will work with the SLTP to write an 8-10 week programme for a cohort of 6 pairings/groups to work through which includes guidance, practical ideas and 1:1 input from the SLTP. The programme will be delivered to 3 cohorts.
4. There will be opportunities along the way for pairings/small groups to meet with other pairings/small groups e.g afternoon tea, Skype links.
5. The Trust’s development team are wanting to support this new and innovative idea
6. Evaluation of impact and presentation event for all involved which will include opportunities on how to take the project to the next stage …. a commissioned service.
What and how is your project going to share learning throughout?
We will write a fortnightly blog/up date which will detail what stage we are at and how people are feeling etc
Once the families start to meet each other they can input to the blog.
I think this project will demonstrate how with the right specialist guidance and support people and their families can manage their own needs. It will show another way to engage people and empower them through connection with other people in similar but different situations – not just for the communication aid users but the people around them too.
It will harness the golden joy that is often seen in relationships between the young and the old.
It will show how important connection and communication with others are to leading a good, wholehearted life.
How you can contribute
- Any information of people's experiences with similar projects which would highlight things to avoid or things to try.
- how and where for young and old communicators to link up
|2 Jan 2020||develop 8-10 week programme|
|2 Jan 2020||identify AAC users to contact and arrange meetings|
|2 Jan 2020||planning meeting of SLTP, specialist SLT and Q member|
|16 Feb 2020||first cohort start programme|
|16 Feb 2020||start Blog|
|8 Mar 2020||mid way meet up of pairings/groups|
|12 Apr 2020||event to evaluate first cohort|
|4 May 2020||2nd cohort|
|1 Sep 2020||3rd cohort|
|1 Dec 2020||final event to evaluate and celebrate the project|