If you live in the United Kingdom you may be eligible for AAC funding. NHS England funds about 10% of the most severe AAC users who require specialised AAC services. The remaining 90% not eligible for NHS support may get it through local AAC services, or charities.
There are 17 specialised centres across England and Wales that handle NHS assessments and loaner devices. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, the setup is slightly different, but may still handled by the NHS, a local AAC service or a combination.
Assessment is needed before a trial
Regardless the source of the funding, it is necessary to do a proper assessment to make sure that the intended user gets a device that best suites his or her needs, skills and abilities.
Practice eye tracking before an assessment
For an eye tracking device, it is our experience that you do a better assessment if you first have familiarized yourself with an eye tracker. It doesn’t necessarily have to be context of communication, it can also be by using simple applications such as cause-and-effect or simple games.
You may be able to try, rent or buy the PCEye Explore, which is our entry level eye tracker that help you get used to eye tracking in a no fail way. You may also want to take a look at Tobii Dynavox Gaze Viewer which records real eye tracking data and provides undisputable proof of a person’s ability to use and eye tracker.
Please note that in order to be eligible for NHS funding, you need to have moved beyond cause and effect understanding, so practicing that, and using Gaze Viewer as “proof” might make your funding request for an AAC device run smoother.
More information on funding in the UK
For more information about assessment and funding for AAC in the UK, please download this PDF document from NHS.