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Meet the team


  • IT representation
  • App developer
  • Speech and Language Therapy staff representation
  • Social Work representation
  • Representation from other relevant Multidisciplinary team members for adults with a Learning Disability

What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

Positive Change:  IT and visual support systems were combined to connect professionals, carers and service users with communication difficulties when face to face assessment was not possible or difficult due face coverings /pandemic restrictions.  A service user’s mental capacity assessment was completed virtually and with pre-prepared pictorial supports allowing a decision to be made regarding their capacity to make decisions relating to deprivations of liberty in place in a new home. This assessment would previously be completed face to face in a clinic or home environment.

IT and Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) collaborated regarding the use of Zoom.

The SLT and parent collaborated to combine signing systems, relevant vocabulary & pictures.

The SLT and Social worker collaborated to generate appropriate vocabulary and pictures for the session.

Feedback indicates:  Service user was ‘never seen to communicate so much’, ‘visuals aids were key for capacity assessment completion’

What does your project aim to achieve?


To create an app that can provide service users with inclusive access to:

1.       specific vocabulary required in health care assessments

2.      visual support at a range of levels of the visual hierarchy

3.      relevant sign language support

Beneficiaries: Professionals using the app will be able to select visuals/ signs that will help them to communicate specific information from their assessment to people with a range of communication difficulties. They can also use visuals to support communication with people without communication difficulties when wearing face masks.

Reducing Health Inequalities:  People with communication difficulties affecting their ability to understand spoken & visual languages (e.g. written word) such as hearing impairment, & learning difficulties will have more equal access to and understanding of information in specific health professionals assessments e.g. mental capacity assessment. They may also have more independence and involvement in assessments needing to rely less on carers to interpret what is said to them

How will the project be delivered?

People/skills involved:

  • IT staff/ App developer for production, software and programming
  • Makaton charity would be needed for support/advice
  • Input from Sign Language Interpreters
  • Speech Therapy staff to support appropriate vocabulary and visual hierarchy information
  • Multidisciplinary team members e.g. social workers could provide information regarding the vocabulary/information required for assessments.
  • Access to appropriate visual information is needed e.g. photos, symbols etc. and necessary software

Measure the impact of using/not using app in the following areas during assessments:

  • Content of information gained in various environments
  • Information understood
  • Service users expressive communication
  • Service user co-operation
  • Time of assessment
  • Resources used
  • Number of services /people other than the service user/assessor involved

Value for money: May result in more information being provided quickly with less services involved

Risk: The app reduces the following risks:

  • Service users’ lacking understanding information provided.
  • Safer as no picture materials are used/touched
  • Inequality of provision to people with communication difficulties

How is your project going to share learning?

Potential learning for Q members:

  • How to use visuals to support communication
  • What is the visual hierarchy of communication
  • How can my assessments be made more accessible to people with communication difficulties or in environments where communication is difficult e.g. using face coverings, noisy environments etc
  • What sign languages can be used to support communication?
  • What is inclusive communication and how can I promote this with service users

How you can contribute

  • Review of project idea, and any suggestions to strengthen the application
  • Any learning that others have found through similar processes

Plan timeline

26 Oct 2020 Project team is formed
7 Dec 2020 Project Team meet to agree content of App
15 Feb 2021 Project team work in groups to develop content
29 Mar 2021 App specification is developed
12 Apr 2021 App is developed in line with specification
24 May 2021 App is trialled with group
30 Aug 2021 Review of trial
13 Sep 2021 App goes live


  1. A very engaging way to address some of the challenges associated with PPE.  Lots of transferability too.  Well done!

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