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Giving our learners a voice

Matthew started at Ambitious College in September 2016. When he started at the college, Matthew didn’t have any independent skills in using communication aids to support him in making his needs known.
Our Speech and Language Therapist (SaLT) identified that Matthew would benefit from using an IT based communication system. Working with the local NHS Communication Aid Centre the SaLT organised an assessment to identify if Matthew would benefit from using Pro Lo Quo To Go loaded onto an iPad. The Centre agreed to fund a communication aid for Matthew. Matthew now has a communication aid for life and when he leaves college he will continue to be supported by the centre if anything should go wrong or need updating.
Once the communication aid arrived at College the SaLT trained Matthews team on how to programme it and made detailed communication passports so that everyone was aware of how to support Matthew.
Through using his iPad Matthew has made progress in increasing class time. He now can tell staff when he needs a break or a glass of water. It has also provided him with the opportunities to make personal choices of his own and develop his skills so he can make more of his wants and needs known. Matthew has a Tea button on his iPad and staff devised a Tea Making Program for him with a Chaining Sequence comman; with this programme he has developed the skills to make his own cup of tea without support.
Family support has been really vital in Matthew’s progression and close liaison with his Mum has helped deliver his tasks at college with her input. She encourages these at home as well so there is consistency for Matthew to achieve his goals. Data suggests that Matthew’s self injurious behaviour has dramatically reduced. Staff believe this could be due to him being able to communicate with staff via his iPad so he can tell others when he is anxious and stressed.
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