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Speech Problems and Communication Problems

Organisations, charities and therapists who can assist if you have difficulty speaking.

Difficulty speaking and communicating can have causes including learning disabilities,
physical disabilities like cerebral palsy, strokes, brain injury, neurological diseases and
cancers of the head and neck.

Some children have severe problems in learning to speak although their physical and mental development
is otherwise normal. You can get help from speech and language therapists and from the voluntary
organisations who specialise in this area.

Speech and Language Therapists

Speech and language therapists are professionally trained to help children and adults who have impaired communications in either understanding or producing speech and language. Sometimes the therapist might advise using a communication aid.

You can find out about local services by contacting your local NHS speech and language service through your GP
or the health authority (Scotland: Health Board) whose number is in the phone book.

Voluntary organisations

The Communication Forum was set up in 1994 to bring together those concerned with communication impairments. The Forum does not itself provide services, but promotes initiatives on behalf of two and a half million people in the UK with communication impairments. If you need information about a specific communication difficulty, contact
Core Members with communication disability as a central concern: Action for Dysphasic Adults/ AFASIC/ British Aphasiology Society/ British Dyslexia Association/ British Stammering Association/ Communication Matters/ David Lewis Centre/ I CAN/ Makaton Vocabulary Development Project/ The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children/ National Association of Laryngectomy Clubs/ National Centre for Cued Speech/ SCOPE/ Sense/ the SINGALONG Group.

Communication Matters

is a UK national charitable organisation of members concerned with the augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) needs of people with complex communication needs.
Communication Matters is also known as ISAAC (UK) - the UK Chapter of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) - and is a core member of the Communication Forum.

*NEW*Mailing address:
Communication Matters
Catchpell House
Carpet Lane
EH6 6SPTel & Fax: 0845 456 8211 (International +44 131 467 7487)

Associate Members with communication impairment as one of their concerns: Aid for Children with Tracheostomies/
Children’s Head Injury Trust/ Cleft Lip and Palate Association/ Contact a Family/ Council for Disabled Children/ Downs Syndrome Association/ Headway/ IPSEA (Independent Panel for Special Educational Advice/Liberator Ltd/ Mencap/ Motor Neurone Disease Association/ Multiple Sclerosis Society/ National Autistic Society/ Paget Gorman Society/ RAD/ RNIB/ RNID/ Speakeasy. - is a valuable source of information for patients with communication deficits as well
as their care-givers.

Developed by certified speech-language pathologists, the site provides explanations on speech and language disorders, tips on how to optimize communication skills, and DVDs that present clinical speech therapy so patients can practice at home.

Website: wertycuvbio


is the national charity dedicated to supporting and empowering people with Aphasia and their carers.

The charity was founded by Diana Law (who experienced Aphasia) in 1979 as ‘Action for Dysphasic Adults’ and adopted the working name of ‘Speakability’ in 2000.

They offer impartial information and support through its Helpline, Website and training courses, and distributes its own Fact Sheets, low-cost publications and DVDs.

Throughout England, Scotland and Wales, Speakability is also developing a network of Aphasia Self-Help Groups – run by people with Aphasia for people with Aphasia. Each Self-Help Group offers individuals real empowerment, the chance to
share experiences, grow in self-confidence, rebuild communication skills and make new friends in a supportive environment.
1 Royal Street
Tel: 020 7261 9572
Fax: 020 7928 9542
Information Service and Helpline:
Tel: 080 8808 9572


Founded in 1968 as a parent-led organisation to help children and young people with speech and language impairments and their families. We provide information and training for parents – and professionals – and produce a range of publications. Members meet in local groups in many areas of the UK.

Afasic seeks to raise awareness and to create better services and provision for children and young people with speech and language impairments. It works in partnership with local and national government, professional and statutory bodies and other voluntary organisations.

Contact details:

Afasic England
1st Floor
20 Bowling Green Lane
London EC1R 0BD
Enquiries: 020 7490 9410
Helpline: 0845 3 55 55 77
Tel: (administration) 020 7490 9410

Afasic Scotland
The Vine
43 Magdalen Yard Road
Dundee DD1 4NE
Tel: 01382 250060
Helpline: 0845 3 55 55 77

Afasic Cymru (Wales)
Cardiff Office
Tel: 029 2046 5854
Fax: 029 2046 5861
Titan House
Cardiff Bay Business Centre
Lewis Road, Ocean Park
CF24 5BS

North Wales
Tel/Fax: 01745 550461

Afasic Northern Ireland
Cranogue House
19 Derrycourtney Road
County Tyrone
Belfast BT68 4UF
Tel: 028 3756 9611

0845 3 55 55 77

The British Stammering Association

offers a UK-wide information and counselling service. Mutual-aid activities
include early treatment of pre-school dysfluent children. Policy is set by stammerers and parents, with the support
of expert speech and language therapists.
The British Stammering Association
15 Old Ford Road
London E2 9PJ
General telephone: 020 8983 1003
Fax: 020-8983 3591

I CAN (Invalid Children's Aid Nationwide)

is the national educational charity for children with speech and language impairments. I CAN's service includes three residential schools, a nursery development programme, secondary language resource units and a training centre offering courses, publications, and teaching aids.


Central Office Contacts

Switchboard: 0845 225 4071 or 020 7843 2510
Information: 0845 225 4073 or 020 7843 2552
Postal Address:
8 Wakley Street

Communication aids

People with severe difficulties in speaking or writing can be helped by communication aids. These range from charts with pictures, symbols and letters or words to electronic voice output devices and specially adapted computers.You may be
able to obtain communication aids from The NHS speech therapy services, local education authorities, schools and colleges, and through the Employment Service.

See also:Equipment

Communication Aids Centres (NHS and Local Authority)

If necessary local professionals will refer you to specialist regional and national communication aids centres which assess the needs and advise on the most suitable aid. The NHS centres are staffed by speech and language therapists and may have occupational therapists and engineers. The following centres assess people of all ages unless otherwise indicated:

Belfast - Communication Advice Centre.
RDS Building, Musgrave Park Hospital, Stockmans Lane, Belfast BT9 7JB
tel: 0289090 2905

visit website

Bristol - Paediatric Communication Aids Service.
Claremont School, Henleaze Park, Westbury-onTrym, Bristol BS9 4LR
tel: 0117 3533613
send email visit website

Canterbury - Adult Communication and Assistive Technology Service.
Clinical and Rehabilitation Engineering Section, Department of Medical Physics, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, Canterbury CT1 3NG
tel: 01227 864083
send email visit website

Cardiff - Communication Aids Centre.
ALAC, Rookwood Hospital, Fairwater Road, Llandaff, Cardiff CF5 2YN tel: 029 2031 3956

Edinburgh - CALL Scotland.
Paterson’s Land, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AQ
tel: 0131 651 6236
visit website

Fife - FACCT.
ASDARC Centre, Woodend Road, Cardenden, Fife KY5 0NE
tel: 01592 583375
send email

Glasgow - SCTCI.
WESTMARC, Southern General Hospital, 1345 Govan Road, Glasgow G51 4TF
tel: 0141 201 2619
send email

Leeds - Leeds Communication Aid Service.
Speech and Language Therapy Dept, St Mary's Hospital, Greenhill Road, Leeds LS12 3QE
tel: 0113 305 5187

Lincoln - Speech & Language Therapy Dept.
92 Newland, Lincoln, LN1 1YA
tel: 01522 514814

London - CENMAC.
Charlton School, Charlton Park Road, London SE7 8JB
tel: 020 8854 1019
send email visit website

London - Assistive Communication Service.
Speech Therapy, Parsons Green Health Centre, 5-7 Parsons Green Lane, London SW6 4UL

tel: 020 8846 6626

London - Neurodisability AAC Service.
Level 10, Main Nurses' Home, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3JH
tel: 0207 405 9200 (x1146)
send email

Newcastle-upon-Tyne – Regional Communication Aid Service.
Walkergate Park, Benfield Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 4QD
tel: 0191 287 5240
send email

Oldham - ACE Centre-North.
Hollinwood Business Centre, Albert Street, Hollinwood, Oldham OL8 3QL
tel: 0161 358 0151
send email visit website

Oxford - ACE Centre.
92 Windmill Road, Headington, Oxford OX3 7DR
tel: 01865 759800
send email visit website

Oxford - Specialist Disability Service.
Oxford Centre for Enablement, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Windmill Road, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LD
tel: 01865 737445
send email

visit website

Sheffield - Sheffield Speech & Language Therapy Agency.
Centenary House, Heritage Park, Albert Terrace Road, Sheffield S6 3BR

tel: 01142 226 2041

Southampton - Communication Aids Service.
Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, Shirley, Southampton SO16 6YD
tel: 02380 796455

Suffolk - Suffolk Communication Aids Resource Centre
Laurel Centre, Violet Hill House, Violet Hill Road, Stowmarket IP14 1NL
tel: 01449 776030
visit website

Truro - Speech & Language Therapy Dept.
Treliske Hospital, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 3LJ
tel: 01872 250000

Yorkshire - Assistive Technology Team.
Medical Physics Dept., Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Gawber Road, Barnsley, South Yorkshire S75 2EPtel: 01226 432159
send email visit website

CENMAC ( Centre for Micro-assisted Communications)

London based, they support learners whose physical inability to communicate effectively through speech or writing hinders their educational progress. By identifying appropriate
technological aids CENMAC helps them gain equal access to the curriculum. In further education, CENMAC has set up MACE (Micro Assistance in Continuing Education) to support young adults with complex physical difficulties who are no longer within the educational system. CENMAC also offers training and consultancy for parents and professionals, and an open day each term.
CENMAC is based at Charlton School in south east London.
CENMAC, Charlton School, Charlton Park Rd, London, SE7 8JB
Tel: 020 8854 1019 Fax: 020 8854 1143

NNAC (The National Network of Assessment Centres)

Formed in April 2004 from Assessment Centres which had been members of the National Federation of Access Centres (NFAC) and independent centres many of whom were managed by ex-NFAC Assessors and Assessment Centre Managers.
supports the needs of students in further education colleges.
Assessment Centres:
Each assessment or training session is about giving an individual the chance to experience the latest and most appropriate study techniques and aids specific to his or her needs. It is a chance for all to experiment with various types of technology knowing the advice will be professional and unbiased. On-going support and training is available and liaison with those working with the student on a daily basis is offered.
To find a centre visit webpage:


is a charity formed by the computability Centre and the Foundation for Communication for the Disabled to give information and advice on computer access at home and at work, including adapting technology to the needs of people
with a disability. It is a non profit making charity whose principal role is to make new technology available to disabled people. Staff are able to travel to see people in all parts of the UK to give advice on the most appropriate equipment.

  • Freephone 0800 269545 (if you call from home)
    or 01926 312847 (if you call from work, minicom accessible)
  • Fax: 01926 407425
  • Email:


The Sequel Trust

There aim is to bridge the communication gap by supplying specialist communication equipment for disabled people of all ages across the UK

The Sequal Trust
3 Ploughman's Corner
Wharf Road
SY12 0EJ
Phone: 01691 624 222

Communication and Access to Computer Technology - Disability Information Trust

Let’s Talk for parents of children with talking difficulties, by Roy McConkey and Penny Price, Souvenir.

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