Funding for communication aids

communication aids

Several suppliers of AAC equipment provide useful funding information, which applies to the wider issue of funding and not just their own equipment:

Note: other suppliers of AAC equipment are listed on the Communication Matters website and the ACE Centre SpeechBubble database

Funding a communication aid?

The information provides general advice on funding an individual AAC device for children, young adults and adults. It looks at local government agencies and lists charities that either fundraise for communication aids or may be able to provide information and advice and some private fundraising ideas. Advice is also given if your funding application is initially rejected, with a list of organisations to contact.

The Funding picture in the UK is very mixed and what is available largely depends on the age of the person who requires AAC, as well as individual disability, location and the timing of an application.

For children, if the requirement for a communication aid has been included on the child’s Statement of Special Educational Needs then the Local Education Authority is obliged to provide equipment; although in practice this is problematic, with education budgets often inadequate to fund expensive high-tech devices. Legal documents can be used to support an application for this funding. The information links above include letter templates which you can use to contact your Local Education Authority to request a statutory assessment of special educational needs as well as to challenge an assessment.

For young adults, a Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) may be available for specialist equipment required during college or university study.

For adults, the GP should be the first point of contact, who will be able to refer you to NHS specialist equipment services units, or to health professionals who may be able to help: speech and language therapists, occupational therapists  and physiotherapists. Funding may come from the NHS, from charities or from the government’s Access to Work scheme.



  • The process of obtaining funding
  • Statutory funding from education, health and social services
  • Charities working in this area
  • Disability-specific charities
  • Private fundraising ideas
  • Funding gap rental option
  • Letter templates – Local Education Authority, MP


Although this information is believed to be accurate, you are strongly advised to make your own independent enquiries.

December 2012