Charity asks where to find funding for AAC devices
I am a speech therapist working for a charity named ESPA in the north east. We support adults with autism with a variety of services including colleges, residential care and a day centre.
There is a clear need across our organisation for alternative and augmentative communications (AAC) aids, and I (along with a few supportive staff members) am looking into fundraising to be able to purchase these devices.
We are interested in setting up a separate charity, or at least making a funding pot exclusively for AAC. I realise there are a number of routes to trial different devices, software and apps but we have difficulty sourcing funding so that the device stays with the individual after leaving our service.
If you could give me any guidance on whom to contact or have any advice it would be greatly appreciated.
Speech and language therapist
Editor’s reply: If I understand correctly you are looking for sources of funds that would allow ESPA to buy AAC devices for adults with autism. There are many charitable funds in the UK that you could approach from the Big Lottery through to myriad smaller and more specific charitable organisations.
There used to be a database called Funder Finder, which is alas no more. However, there is a useful list to get started on at Disability Grants (http://www.disability-grants.org/). Other useful resources are to be found at Trustfunding.org.uk (http://bit.ly/TXkKGN) and Scope (http://bit.ly/Sip0lb).
Of course adults with autism can also apply for funding to the NHS or social services and there are moves afoot to make it much easier for children and adults to get access to AAC devices. Communications Matters has more information on this and on sources of funds for individuals (http://bit.ly/W0AtXQ).
Helpful guides are also produced by the Ace Centre (http://acecentre.org.uk/) and by AAC device company Liberator (http://bit.ly/Xh3U3r). Good luck.