Mobile navigation

SEND Sustainability Plan

If you are looking for information about our new SEND Sustainability Plan see 'SEND sustainability plan'

Assistive Technology (AT)

AT helps people to be more independent and makes their lives easier. This page looks at different types of assistance and how to access it within Wiltshire.

Silverwood students using assistive equipment
Downlands student using electronic white board

AT can be a wide range of devices with the primary function of improving the day to day life of someone with an additional need. The government has published a statutory definition (opens new window). It could be providing an alternative way of controlling a computer, or it might enable someone to open the windows and doors in their own home. It can also involve ways of communicating. For a great guide on what kinds of technology is out there across all the areas of your life visit Living made easy (Shaw Trust - DLF) (opens new window).

You may also find support and advice for education or work through Occupational Therapy, if you are in school or higher education your SEN Coordinator will help connect you to the right people. If you are in work talk to your employer to see if they have an existing arrangement or if you have found a solution that requires additional funding you might be eligible for an Access to work (opens new window) grant. For example, perhaps you need additional assistance with reading due to dyslexia, a scanner pen (opens new window) which reads out loud would make your work more accessible and efficient.

For young people and adults in Wiltshire needing additional support the following services may be relevant to you:

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

AAC is one, very important, type of ATAAC is there to help people with communication challenges. It is all about providing strategies and communication aids that support or replace someone's speech when they can't rely upon it to communicate.  Communication aids that 'talk' are sometimes called Voice Output Communication Aids (VOCAs) or Speech Output Devices.

Who can help

For communication needs assessments for you can contact the Wiltshire Health and Care: (NHS): Speech and language therapy (opens new window) (SALT) or for assistance under the age of 18 services are provided by Wiltshire Children's Services: Speech and Language Therapy (HCRG Care Group) (opens new window).

You may also want to consider some of the national support available like the charity Ace Centre (opens new window) who specialise in AAC and assistive communication technology.

You may also want to visit the co-produced resource on Communication and Interaction.

Digital Accessibility Tools

As more and more services and information are accessed digitally this can be disabling to those with various needs or training unless the right support is available. Many devices and programmes come with in-built support, for example you can visit Microsoft: Accessibility tools for neurodiversity (opens new window) or  Microsoft: Promoting disability inclusion (opens new window).

To learn about what digital accessibility looks like in practice watch YouTube: British Dyslexia Association - Free Webinar: Empowering Potential (opens new window).

To learn more about accessing the digital world and relevant safety information visit our page: 

Accessing the internet and getting online.

Wiltshire Facilities

A lot of the Wiltshire Council facilities do employ Assistive Technologies to aid those who need them gain access. For example you can check what Leisure Centres and Libraries have to aid access by visiting their facilities pages which is linked from our leisure and libraries page, this page also includes information on accessible changing places around the county. You can also find access information for visiting the Council Offices by visiting Council offices information.

Telecare (Ages 5+)

Telecare can be things such as alarms and sensors, to help you live independently at home for longer. You can set up telecare to remind you of things you need to do, such as take your medication. If you need help, for example if you have fallen over at home, a telecare system can automatically alert staff at a response centre who can direct assistance to you.

For more information about what is available and how to access it visit our adult services page on Your care, your support: Telecare and assistive technology (opens new window).

The switch to digital landlines may affect telecare devices and personal alarms. This process will be gradual and won't be complete until the end of 2025. Your telephone service provider should contact you before the switch takes place. But you may wish to contact the supplier of any telecare devices you use to check if the device will work with the new system or whether any equipment may need to be upgraded.

Additional resources

With funding from the Department for Education, Nasen, has developed a resource bank to help practitioners use technology to reduce or remove barriers to learning. To find out more visit NASEN (National Association of Special Educational Needs): Assistive Technology (opens new window). CALL Scotland: Posters and Leaflets (opens new window) page contains a range of easy-to-read infographics about using various forms of assistive technologies in a school environment.

In Spring 2023 Wiltshire Centre for Independant Living where commisioned by Wiltshire Council to record the communities voice on technology enabled care (TEC). you can read their report along with others on their Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living (CIL): Reports (opens new window) page.

Hearing Support Team

The Wiltshire Hearing Support Team is part of the Sensory Impairment, Physical and Medical Service within the Special Educational Needs and Disability Service. We are a team of specialist staff, comprising qualified teachers of the deaf and teaching assistants working to promote the educational inclusion and achievement of children and young people with a diagnosed hearing loss.

Vision Support Team

The Vision Support team are a team of specialist staff, comprising of Qualified Teachers for Vision Impairment (QTVIs) and Specialist Sensory Teaching Assistants (SITAs) and a Habilitation Specialist. We work to promote the educational inclusion and achievement of children and young people who have a diagnosed vision impairment.

Share this page

Facebook icon Twitter icon email icon


print icon