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Suffolk communication aids resource centre

An assessment, equipment loan, training and advice service for children and young people.

What do we do?

Suffolk Communication Aids Resource Centre (SCARC) is a countywide assessment, support, training and advice service for children and young people up to age 25 to consider use of a Voice Output Communication Aid (VOCA).

  • We operate an equipment loan bank for short and long-term loans of communication aids, including responsibility for maintenance and repairs. 
  • We additionally provide specialist Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) advice for our Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) colleagues and other settings supporting students with communication difficulties.  

Who are we?

  • SCARC is a multi-disciplinary service made up of a range of professionals who specialise in supporting young people with AAC.
  • Our team is made up of Speech and Language Therapists, an Occupational Therapist, a Communication aid practitioner, Communication aid assistant and an administrator. 

Who do we see? 

We can consider a referral for a child or young person from 0-25 who lives within the Suffolk County Council boundary who requires consideration for AAC.   

Who do we do not see?

We do not see children and young adults who need to use technology for writing and recording but do not have a communication difficulty

How long will my child wait to be seen?

Your child/young person will be seen within 18 weeks

Where will my child be seen?

We aim to see the child/young person in a familiar place.  

What will happen at the appointment?

We will consider your referral and if accepted, offer the child or young person an assessment appointment with our SCARC team. 

  • This appointment could be virtual or face to face at the most appropriate setting for the child or young person, depending on their needs.
  • All persons (including family and settings) supporting the child or young person are invited to attend the assessment or be involved in providing information to support the assessment.     
  • During the assessment, all forms of communication are considered including the communication system the child or young person is currently accessing
  • If a communication aid is recommended an application will be made for funding, and the equipment loaned to the young person
  • Training and technical support is also provided post assessment and prior to provision of communication aid
  • If needed an onward referral may be made to the Communication Aids Service East of England (CASEE) who are the regional specialisist communication aids service for the East of England.

Who can refer to our service?

You can refer into our service by filling out our referral form and e-mailing it directly to us.  It is always helpful to discuss referrals with us prior to filling in the referral form – please contact us for further information. 

NB SCARC referrals do not come through the Care Coordination Centre  

Contact us

Suffolk Communication Aids Resource Centre

Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy

Defoe Road



Tel 01473 744223

Mobile 07940 447730




Your view matters:

We aim to offer a good service to you and your child or young person. We welcome your comments, compliments and suggestions.

If you have any queries or concerns with any aspect of your child or young person's care that cannot be resolved with your clinician please contact the team leader.

If you feel unable to discuss your concerns in this way please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)