Communication Therapies

Everyone who studies at QAC is unique and as such has their own abilities and needs. Communication is key to learning, and to making friends and choices in life.

We have an extensive range of therapeutic and support services available to meet the needs of our students, including:

Speech and Language 

Here at QAC we aim to provide a total communication environment, where all staff recognise that our learners have different abilities and needs, and we aim to provide comprehensive communication support to all. Our on-site Speech and Language Therapy Team is made up of qualified Therapists and experienced Assistants.

Whether you require direct input from our Speech and Language Therapy Department or not, rest assured that your communication will be supported at QAC. If you have ongoing Speech, Language and Communication needs, you will receive a comprehensive assessment during your first term and this, in conjunction with the provision in your Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, will inform the type of Speech and Language Therapy support you will be able to access during your time at QAC.

Our Speech and Language Therapy Team offers various types of direct intervention including bespoke 1:1 sessions, and group sessions. Additionally, the team also provides direct support within the classroom and indirect resources such as visual timetables, social stories, communication books, AAC support, activities, staff training and recommendations for staff to follow, to ensure that everyone can communicate to their fullest potential.

 

Assistive Technology 

Assistive technology (often referred to as ‘AT’) encompasses a diverse array of products, programmes or devices that promote independence and facilitate learning. It enables our students to achieve their academic targets as well as personal goals.

Beyond the classroom, AT assumes a central role in enhancing and maintaining a high quality of daily life, bridging accessibility gaps and helping our students access resources they might otherwise find challenging such as navigating a computer. For those who use a high-tech communication device, our dedicated AT Specialist will provide technical support liaising with all relevant specialists.

Where appropriate the AT Specialist delivers tailored sessions aimed at teaching and promoting the effective use of AT. The department boasts a comprehensive range of specialised equipment and devices including CCTVs, pen readers, and a variety of input devices. We also offer expert guidance on built-in accessibility features and free resources easily available to our learners outside of QAC.

By providing customised support, we witness the profound impact of assistive technology on the educational and personal growth of our learners.

 

Braille Tuition 

The Braille Department focuses on developing independent study skills for students. Our specialist Braille tutor offers one-to-one sessions to help students learn and enhance their Braille skills and our transcriptionist is able to convert text information into hard copy Braille as needed.

We also provide training on using an electronic Braille device, a versatile tool for everyday tasks such as writing documents, sending emails, reading books and accessing the internet. This technology enables teachers to enhance the learning experiences for students, making classwork more accessible and efficient.

 

VI Training 

Our Visual Impairment Training Officer provides ongoing one-to-one support for students with a vision impairment.

Support can include building on existing skills to develop and maximise independence, employability, living with and adapting to sight loss.

Some of the software used and covered includes NVDA (non-visual desktop access), ZoomText screen magnification, Microsoft accessibility, Azabat (touch typing programme) and tactile graphics.

The skills students learn and develop can help to support them with completing coursework, integrating into the community, forming and maintaining friendships, employment opportunities and confidence building.

Students have the opportunity to attend a weekly group session specifically for those with a vision impairment. This offers them the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of fun, accessible and enriching activities. Students are able to form friendships, receive peer support and learn about different aspects of the vision impairment community.

 

D/deaf Support 

QAC works with external Qualified Teachers of the Deaf to make sure that students have their needs met. All academic staff working with D/deaf learners will undertake training to make sure that they can make the best adjustments and adaptations. Where specified, radio aids can be sourced and fitted.

We are not a British Sign Language (BSL) specialist College.

 

Dyslexia 

Although we do not have an in-house Dyslexia Specialist, we link up with external providers to source support as outlined in our learners’ Educational, Health and Care (EHC) plans. We ensure that academic staff receive the training required to support our students with dyslexia and we also have a range of assistive technology available to help with this specific learning difficulty.