Sensory Impairment

Guidance on providing community care services for people with a sensory impairment was published by the Scottish Government in April 2007 and funding allocated for training materials, informed by people with sensory impairment, to address the need for basic training in communication tactics for front line community care staff.

Following on from this, it was agreed, in order to continue momentum on sensory impairment issues, to pilot a sensory impairment 'one-stop shop' approach to service delivery. The aim of the one-stop shops was to look at shifting away service delivery from the traditional model of GPs and hospitals, reducing presure at these points, into a model where services can be delivered more locally with additional support, advice and information provided within the same location.

The Scottish Government has given commitment to support further development of the one-stop shop model and funding has been secured for this.

Scottish Sensory Impairment Strategy

The success of the one-stop shop pilots has encouraged further developments as part of a Scottish Sensory Impairment Strategy. The strategy will be produced working with groups such as RNIB Scotland, Action on Hearing Loss and Deafblind Scotland who are members of the Sensory Impairment Strategy Steering Group.

Alternative and Augmentative Communication

Following an approach from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, the Scottish Government set up a short life working group to consider the current provision of Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) which will report to the Minister for Public Health. Scottish Government officials, local government colleagues, speech and language therapists and AAC users were represented on the group.

A National AAC Project Manager was appointed in October 2010 to examine the provision of AAC. The report A Right to Speak has now been published which examines the findings from the Project Manager.