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Chair Comments on SLC Report

Chair Comments on SLC Report

10th April 2018

2018 is the tenth year since the Bercow Report into services for children with speech an language needs. This report had a major impact on the provision of AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication) devices, spurring the creation of specialist AAC hubs for children and adults with the highest need. But as the APPGAT has heard, there is much more to be done, especially for those people who rely on local services. The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and the I CAN charity has now published a new report, Bercow: 10 Years On, which points the way to building on the achievements of the last decade.

The APPGAT's  Chair, Seema Malhotra MP, responded to the report in an article in the Huffington Post, writing

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) technologies can be life-changing for children and young people with little or no speech, enabling them to communicate. I have seen this first hand in my work as Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Assistive Technology where those in the SLCN community have spoken passionately about the ways in which (AAC) technologies unlock opportunities for education and social interaction

 

Ms. Malhotra also noted that the report comes just as the Department for Education has declined to renew funding for the Communication Trust, which helps to develop the SLCN workforce. And the article pointed towards the APPGAT's coming work on AAC, including the planned dissemination event for the findings of the I-ASC project, the largest AAC research project ever conducted in the UK. Finally, Ms. Malhotra, wrote: 

Through the work of the APPG for Assistive Technology, I have had the opportunity to meet with a wide range of people of all ages who use AAC technology to communicate, family members, technology developers and people in the AAC workforce. People with complex SLCN need a genuine voice in our society. Today’s report, like the Bercow Review 10 years ago, is a milestone in that endeavour. We should celebrate it as such but, more than that, we should use it – to help give this generation of children and young people with SCLN the opportunity to realise their true potential.

You can read the full article here