Assessment Referrals

We accept referrals for patients whose GP is located in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire or Milton Keynes.

Anyone is able to refer, but their referral must be accompanied by a report from a speech and language therapist – if this service is not available in your area please contact us for advice on how to proceed.


EATS will be able to provide a specialised assessment if the patient has:

  • A severe / complex communication difficulty associated with a range of physical, cognitive, learning or sensory deficits.
  • A clear discrepancy between their level of understanding and their ability to speak.

In addition the patient must:

  • Be able to understand the purpose of a communication aid (be an intentional communicator).
  • Have developed beyond cause and effect understanding.

We understand that these criteria may be difficult to assess and would encourage anyone who is unsure to contact EATS in the first instance. If a patient does not meet these criteria, please contact your local AAC team.

If your local AAC team is unable to meet this need, you may wish to consider our training service.


You can download a copy of the referral form here, or contact the office on the details on the back of this leaflet to receive a paper copy. You can expect an acknowledgement of referral within 10 working days of it’s receipt and an appointment within 6 weeks.


An appointment will be made to assess the person requiring AAC in the environment which best reflects their needs. This may be their school, home, day centre etc. but will be agreed with the referrer and the individual. Healthcare professionals from the team will attend to contribute to the assessment, this may include:

  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Clinical Scientist
  • Clinical Technologist
  • Therapy/Technology Assistants.

The team which attends will be dependent on the individuals needs and you will be informed before the date who will be attending.

A member of the local AAC team is also expected to attend, this is usually the speech and language therapist, but could also be a teacher, occupational therapist etc. The local AAC team will be responsible for ongoing AAC work with the individual and therefore it is vital that they attend. Assessment appointments will not proceed without a member of the local AAC team.

The team will complete a comprehensive assessment of the person which may include (but is not limited to):

  • Discussion with carers
  • Trial of a number of devices
  • Trial of a number of types of accessing devices
  • Assessment of the person’s language, functional use, social use and compensatory strategies

Appointments can take up to three hours to complete. You will be contacted prior to ensure any needs of the individual are taken into account.
Recommendations will then be made as to how a communication aid can be used with the person. This may also including recommending low tech or other partner assisted approaches. If a device is recommended a trial will be arranged with the device.


Trials usually last between 1-3 months and give a thorough understanding of how well the person will use the device. It also gives EATS the opportunity to understand how well it will be supported.

If the trial is successful the individual will be supplied a communication aid and the local AAC service will become responsible for its continuing implementation.

Depending on the device, EATS may service the device on a yearly basis.

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Get in contact

Electronic Assistive Technology Service
Fen House, Fen Lane
North Hykeham

Phone: 01522 572820

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