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Communication Aid Service East of England (CASEE)

Our services

CASEE provides a regional specialist Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) aid service to children and adults with complex needs in the East of England. Hosted by Addenbrooke’s Hospital, and commissioned by NHS England, CASEE cover the counties of Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

The CASEE team is multi-disciplinary with Speech & Language Therapists, Teachers, Occupational Therapists, Clinical Scientist/Technologists, Technicians and Administrators.

Urgent advice: Covid-19 and appointments

Due to restrictions, the CASEE team are currently providing most of our services remotely via Zoom. The team are completing some face to face visits if it is not possible to meet a client’s needs remotely, these visits are offered on a case by case basis and are not guaranteed. The team use appropriate protective equipment (face masks, visors, gloves etc.) and safety measures such as maintaining a 2 metre distance where possible, additional sanitising of hands and equipment and limiting the amount of the people in the room. Each face to face visit is risk assessed and the client and any other relevant people will be contacted to outline the risks, discuss consent for a face to face visit and explain all safety measures in advance. More detail on our Covid-19 statement can be found here.

If you have any queries about your referral or appointment, please contact us on 01223 349401 or email us: enquiries.casee@nhs.net.

Visiting the CASEE team

We see all our clients in their own homes, schools, day centres, residential centres, hospitals etc. and do not have the facilities to see clients at our Addenbrooke’s base.

If you are a professional visiting our office and are using a navigation system to find us, please use the postcode CB2 8PS. We are based in the (OH) Oh Occupational Health and Wellbeing building, which is located on the Addenbrooke’s site on the corner of Long Road and Robinson Way. Please use the Long Road/Robinson Way entrance to the site to reach the OH building.

Finding the CASEE site

Zoom video consultations

The CASEE team is using Zoom for video consultation appointments for almost all of our appointments. Your support team including your speech and language therapist, occupational therapist, teacher and/or family members can also attend via Zoom if you would like them to take part in the appointment.

Find out more about how to use Zoom for a CASEE video consultation in the document below.

Information for patients

We provide assessment and recommendations which may include the provision of electronic voice output communication aids (VOCAs) alongside training in the use of any VOCA provided for the client, family and their local support team. We also aim to support the establishment, training and development of local AAC services and provide regular training sessions offered free of charge to professionals supporting people who use AAC (Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Teachers, Therapy Assistants, Technical Team Members, Teaching Assistants etc.).

What is AAC?

‘AAC’ refers to Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) methods. For some individuals it can be difficult to communicate verbally with those around them; for example due to limited or unclear speech, learning disabilities or physical limitations. This can limit the individual’s ability to engage in personal relationships, leisure, hobbies, education and employment and may significantly impact their independence and quality of life.

AAC refers to resources or equipment which can support such individuals to communicate effectively with those around them and engage more fully in their environment. AAC ranges from ‘low-tech’, such as paper-based symbol or alphabetic systems, to ‘high-tech’ electronic voice output communication aids (VOCA) which speak messages for the individual. These may be operated in a variety of ways including directly via a touchscreen, head pointer, or eye gaze or via switches to overcome physical limitations, and may be mounted on to wheelchairs or seating systems. 

What do we do?

CASEE is one of 13 Specialised AAC Services in England. CASEE aims to assess and provide Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) solutions for children and adults from the East of England region that meet the criteria for assessment by a Specialised AAC Service. We recommend contacting us via email* or phone (01223 349401) prior to making a referral so you can discuss the referral to ensure the person meets the NHS England criteria for assessment by a Specialised AAC Service.  A downloadable version of our referral form is available below.

We provide assessment and recommendations which may include the provision of electronic voice output communication aids (VOCAs) alongside training in the use of any VOCA provided for the client, family and their local support team. We also aim to support the establishment, training and development of local AAC services and provide regular training sessions offered free of charge to professionals supporting people who use AAC (Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Teachers, Therapy Assistants, Technical Team Members, Teaching Assistants etc.).

You can find a link to our training programme here. We also provide free downloadable resources, self-help guides and helpful video clips for professionals and family members/others supporting people who use AAC.
We are involved in several national projects to improve service provision in the field of AAC and are also engaged in research to further the evidence base in this area please see our Twitter feed for more info.

*Please note that patient information should not be sent by email unless it is from another secure email service or with prior consent to do so.

Equipment faults and technical support

The CASEE team are available to support with any technical difficulties with the equipment we provide. If you are experiencing any difficulties with your equipment, please call us on 01223 349 401 or email us: enquiries.casee@nhs.net. We may be able to help over the phone, but sometimes we may ask you to contact the product supplier for further support. You will find the suppliers contact details on your equipment loan form or as a sticker on your device. If you cannot find this information, please access useful links on our resources page or contact us. Please note, you may need to be connected to the internet to allow support to be provided remotely from the suppliers.

Resources

We have plenty of advice and resources available. Please contact the CASEE team on 01223 349401 or email us: enquiries.casee@nhs.net to discuss this further so we can provide you with what you need. Meanwhile, please access our resources and training page here where you may find more information from other services/suppliers.

We would also like to draw your attention to this website, set up and provided by the NHS England Specialist AAC and EC (environmental control) services across the UK, providing a wide variety of resources. Accessible via: https://assistivetechnology.org.uk/

We continue to provide training to AAC professionals in our region; we currently do all our training remotely via Zoom. Please see this link to view current training courses offered.

General information and advice

For any other enquiries, please contact us on 01223 349401 or email us: enquiries.casee@nhs.net.

Referrals

We are accepting and triaging referrals as per our usual process. Access the referral form below.

Please take care to note the NHS England criteria in the flyer below.