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The Communication Trust

The Communication Trust,
Unit 31 Angel Gate (next to Gate 5),
Goswell Road,
Telephone: 020 7843 2526


Who we are: 

The Communication Trust is a coalition of over 50 not-for-profit organisations.

They support everyone who works with children and young people in England to support their speech, language and communication.

Their work focuses on supporting children and young people who struggle to communicate because they have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) as well as supporting all children and young people to communicate to the best of their ability.

They do this because their ability to communicate affects us in every aspect of our lives. Many children could be helped to communicate better and some children need really focused support to reach their full potential.

What we do,,,

Members of the Communication Trust are able to offer the services to all families in England.

Some services are provided free, while others have a fee.

Those with a fee are suitable for families with personal budgets, or can be purchased by schools, the local authority and/or the local NHS clinical commissioning group.

1Voice - Communicating Together -  national network of families who use Alternative and Augmentative Communication services.

They hold local groups in many areas and a national event each year.

ACE Centre - support children and adults with the most complex communication difficulties, focussing on the use of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), which includes a range of low and high tech resources and strategies to support or replace spoken communication. 

Families can access our free advice and information service.

Phone: 0800 080 3115 


Action for Children - runs Children's Centres which provide support with early language development.

Stay and play sessions focus on speech and language development and a range of accredited parent/carer and child courses have specific, language related learning outcomes.

Short Break services are passionate about ensuring children can communicate their views and wishes. Staff are skilled in a range of augmented and assisted communication methods and are always willing to learn the unique ways children communicate.

All our short break services use the child's existing communication support plan or create one to ensure every child has a "voice". 

Action for Stammering Children including The Michael Palin Centre commission specialist services that transform the lives of children who stammer.

The Michael Palin Centre runs the UK's largest specialist service dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of children who stammer. 

Afasic represents children and young people with speech, language and communication difficulties, working for their inclusion in society and supports their parents and carers.

If you are a parent or young person wanting help and more information, downloadable factsheets, access to our local networks, see our website or call our Helpline.

Phone: 0300 666 9410

Ambitious about Autism provide specialist education and support to children and adults with autism. We also run an online community for parents, carers, family members, and people on the autism spectrum.

ARCOS work to improve life for children and adults who have complex communication, eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties. Based in the West Midlands, we have a Resource, Training and Therapy Centre and operate a nationwide outreach service.

Artburst  London based social enterprise running workshops which integrate drama, art, music and movement, and our programmes are aimed at improving oracy and literacy skills, developing confidence and encouraging a passion for children's literature.

Auditory Verbal UK (AVUK) national charity that helps babies and pre-school children with hearing impairment develop their full potential to listen and talk through a successful Auditory Verbal Therapy coaching programme, available at centres for families and professionals across the UK.

Barnardo's  large national children's charity providing a wide range of services for all children including those with communication needs. In addition to general information you can find local services on their website.   

BATOD (British Association of Teachers of the Deaf) professional body for teachers of the deaf. BATOD are not an organisation aimed at parents, but most of those who teach deaf children will be members of our organisation.

Better Communication CIC support professionals with the implementation of change in the commissioning and provision of services for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs.

They also support for parents who are navigating services on behalf of their children.

British Stammering Association have resources available on their own website and both a general helpline and a specific education helpline for children and young people in education.

Phone: 01606 77374


CandLE (Communication and Learning Enterprises) is focused mostly in the North West and London and provide assessment and training services for children who may benefit from using Alternative and Augmentative Communication services.

CENMAC is a London support service offering assessments, reviews and loan of equipment to help pupils with a disability access the curriculum using assistive technology.

Both professionals and parent/carers can refer to us - but we operate only within certain London boroughs.

Chailey Heritage Foundation educates and cares for children and young adults with complex physical disabilities and health needs and communication needs.

Specialist skilled staff in use additional or augmentative communication methods, from sensory cues for deaf-blind children, through low-tech picture, object or symbol systems, right through to high-tech VOCAs using switch, touch or eye gaze access.

Our charity in Sussex offers various provisions including a special school, a residential centre and our Futures Life Skills Centre, a state-of-the-art leisure and life-skills facility which is open to people with disabilities in the wider community. 

The Children's Society is a large national children's charity providing a wide range of services for all children including those with communication needs.

 The Children's Trust work with children and young people with brain injury from across the UK from a specialist centre in Surrey and in communities around England.

We provide information and support to parents and other family members of children with brain injury including information available on:

CLAPA (Cleft Lip and Palate Association) helps people with, and affected by, cleft lip and palate. CLAP has a strong network of parents groups across England which includes parents who are willing to be contacted directly to talk to others who needs support. CLAP supply feeding equipment and on line publications are available on their website. 

CLAPA’s Children and Young People’s Council are 9-17 year olds with a cleft from all around the UK. They meet up four times a year.

Commtap CIC online resources for professionals who work with children with speech, language and communication needs. The resources are free to download and can also be accessed by parents.

Communication Matters charity offering information on Alternative and Augmentative Communication services. Their website has useful and practical information for families.  They also offer signposting to the right service.

The Communication Trust supports not-for-profits and professionals who work with children who have speech, language and communication needs. The Trust and its members provide resources that parents may find helpful for supporting their children's communication. 

Contact (previously known as Contact a Family/CAF) support families with disabled children across the UK wherever they are. Services include a free helpline (0808 808 3555) and an online medical directory.

Cued Speech Association UK uses eight hand-shapes near the mouth to clarify the lip patterns of normal speech. With the vocabulary and structure of spoken language made visible, deaf children can quickly acquire an understanding of spoken language. Cued speech can be learned online via Skype.

The Elizabeth Foundation provides nursery and pre-school services to deaf babies and children, from diagnosis to school age. They help deaf children learn to listen and talk, and offer them opportunities to make friends with other deaf children their age. The Elizabeth Foundation provide education and support services to parents, including a remote support service for those who aren't able to travel to our Family Centre located in Portsmouth.

Elklan provides  a range of practical resources to support staff and parents to maximise their children's communication potential at home and school. They also offer accredited training for professionals and parents working with children who have speech, language and communication needs. The training courses offer effective, practical and evidence based strategies and are written and delivered by experienced speech and language therapists through a network of licensed tutors. E-learning and intensive courses available. 

English Speaking Board is a national organisation offering qualifications in communication skills for school, college and throughout life. Courses and workshops that promote effective speaking and listening.

Find A Voice help and support people of all ages with speech, language and communication difficulties. Based in Kent they offer a mobile resource library of augmentative and alternative communication aids.

I CAN provide effective, practical, evidence-based solutions that support the communication development of children and young people with communication difficulties. They offer specialist schools and a multidisciplinary speech and language assessment services to children between the ages of 4-19. Programmes and resources can be used to support children with SLCN at home and at school.

I CAn host the Talking Point website providing comprehensive information on children's communication:

The I CAN Help Enquiry Service offers and opportunity to speak a speech and language specialists for advice and guidance.

Phone: 020 7843 2544.

KIDS provides services for disabled children, young people and their families aged 0-25 years irrespective of their impairment or condition. They provide access to play, leisure, learning and training. KIDS also offer practical advice and support to families. 

Language for Learning is a professional training and support organisation that also offers direct services to families in Worcestershire.

The Learning Partnership offer parenting guides to good practice in early years, links to online video learning for family based learning, and school programmes that support joined up thinking between family and school.

London Bubble brings people together to create, participate in and enjoy theatre. Speech Bubbles is available to primary schools in the London including Hackney. 

The Makaton Charity - Makaton uses signs and symbols with speech to help people communicate. Makaton training is available in many local areas and in others it can be purchased directly by parents.

Mencap run a large number of services for children and adults with learning difficulties across England. Local Mencap groups run further services for children.

MERU - from disabilities to possibilities design and manufacture bespoke disability equipment for children and young people with disabilities. They also offer a small free Equipment Loan Scheme.

NAPLIC is the National Association of Professionals concerned with Language Impairment in Children. NAPLIC is not an organisation aimed at parents however many of those who help children with Speech, Language & Communication needs will be members of our organisation.

The National Autistic Society / NAS provide information, support and pioneering services for children and adults with autism. The NAS website has comprehensive information about autism, with sections for parents, carers, young people. NAS can advise on local services and have a free helpline.

Phone: 0808 800 4104

National Deaf Children's Society provide a range of resources, including online information, a parents forum and a team of family officers across England.

National Deaf Children's Society have a website for young people:

Freephone helpline: 0808 800 8880

National Literacy Trust work to improve reading, writing, speaking and listening skills through local projects. Resources for parents and families are available from their website:

Paget Gorman Society - Paget Gorman Signed Speech is an unaided augmentative sign system that supports language and communication. It is flexible enough to be adapted to all levels of language ability.

Place2Be provide integrated school based mental health services to primary and secondary schools and offer training to many other schools, organisations and individuals. 

Puzzle Centre promote and deliver early intervention for very young children with autism or similar communication difficulties. Specialist teachers, speech and language therapists, occupational therapist and a clinical psychologist offer one-off assessments or flexible packages of support.

Scope have a comprehensive offer of services for disabled children and adults across England. Information and resources for children with communication difficulties can be found on their website.

Free helpline: 0808 800 3333 


SEBDA is a professional body that campaigns for better services for children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. The organisations is not aimed at parents however resources can be viewed by anyone using their website.

SMIRA (Selective Mutism Information and Research Association) is a charity that offers information and advice to families with selectively mute children. They make resources available online and have an active social media presence offering peer to peer support. 

Sense offer specialist services for deafblind children and adults. They run local branches where families can conect mutual support for families. 

Signalong developes communication skills rather than teaching blocks of signs. Training focuses on total communication facial expression, body language and voice tone, plus simplification of language and keyword selection. Accredited training is offered.

Springboard for Children improve the literacy of children with learning difficulties in primary and secondary schools through one-to-one work. Parent / carer early literacy activity packs are available.

St Catherine's support children and young people and their families with speech, language and communication needs. The organisations offers a residential specialist school and sixth form centre, residential and care facilities. Also on offer is the Work Station vocational training project.

Symbol UK provide services for families which include; speech and language therapy assessments and interventions including specialist speech and language therapy for children and young people with Down's Syndrome.

Symbol UK for parents:

Talking Mats is a tool which enables children to express their views and keeps them at the centre of service planning. Talking Mat resources are aimed at seeking the views of children and young people in both a physical or digital format. Training in Talking Mats for staff working with a range of communication disability can be accessed either face to face or online. Training for parents is also available.


The Communication Trust is committed to supporting all those implementing the reformed SEND system to meet the needs of children and young people with SLCN and their families.  To achieve this we are working with:

  • the Department for Education,
  • the SEND Regional Network,
  • partners across the VCS sector, and
  • professionals that make up the children's workforce

Record Last Updated on: 08/10/2019

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Disclaimer-important information about the Hackney Local Offer

Hackney's Local Offer website is a free and impartial service provided by the London Borough of Hackney in partnership with the NHS, local education, health and community services. The information contained within the website is available for the purposes of identifying services and provision that may be available to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

This information does not represent a recommendation or an endorsement of a Service or Provider and neither does the London Borough of Hackney or its partners make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy of the information. Anyone seeking to use or access a service or provision is responsible for undertaking their own checks to determine the suitability and fitness for purpose of that service and provision. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including, without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damages whatsoever arising from use or loss of use of data or profits arising out of or in connection with the use of the Hackney Local Offer.

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