Access to Communication and Technology Unit (ACTU)

Overview

The Access to Communication and Technology Unit (ACTU) provides services to individuals with, complex communication needs, physical and/or sensory difficulties, speech, language and communication needs, and/or learning disabilities, and their families. ACTU assess, support and advise, make recommendations for communication and technology, and implement interventions and training.

This service is given by Speech & Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists and is also assisted by a Support Worker.

 

ACTU offers two services:

  1. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). The AAC service is designed to support individuals who present with Complex Communication Needs (CCN) because they are either non-verbal or have difficulty being understood when they use speech. The main goal of this service is to assess and make recommendations for AAC systems and aids and access to them. ACTU also supports families and professionals with the implementation of any recommended communication aids.
  2. Electronic Assistive Technology (EAT). The EAT service provides assessment for alternative access to the computer as well assessments for environmental control.​

 

Information Day Service

ACTU offers the informative day service on a periodic basis for those who are 16 and over and would like to discuss AAC/EAT needs. This service is also ideal for those who do not meet the eligibility criteria for the main service, but would like to consult on AAC/EAT strategies that can meet their needs. This is an opportunity for a one hour meeting with an Occupational Therapist (OT) and/or Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) from the ACTU team.

 

Eligibility

Eligibility for AAC Service
Children under the age of 16 may be referred to ACTU if they have achieved cause and effect skills and are able to make a choice between two objects with intent. If you are not sure if your child has achieved these skills please discuss this with your Speech and Language Therapist who must make the referral.

 

Eligibility for EAT Service
Children under the age of 16 may be referred to ACTU by a professional or a member of the School Management Team. A child is eligible for an EAT assessment if he/she meets the following criteria:

  • Children under the age of 16 should present with significant physical disability, predominately with upper limb impairments that result in them being unable to use standard controls, for example computer mice, keyboards, touch screens, mobile phones and/or remote controls.
  • Cognitively able to operate Environmental Control (EC) equipment consistently.
  • Able to demonstrate sustained motivation to use the EC equipment.
  • Where the child is diagnosed with a variable condition (e.g. a progressive neurological condition), the above criteria can be applied with regards to the child’s anticipated needs and abilities within a clinically appropriate time period. Referrals can be accepted on this basis.

 

The following exclusion criteria also applies for the EAT service:

  • ​In situations when non-specialist solutions to the identified needs of the child are available and appropriate e.g. the use of standard keyboard and mouse, referral to ACTU is not needed.

 

Information Day Service
ACTU offers the information day service on a periodic basis for those who are 16 and over and would like to discuss AAC/EAT needs.
Appointments to discuss AAC needs are to be made by the service user’s Speech and Language Therapist. This is important to ensure implementation of the prescribed AAC and/or strategies after the consultation. Clients who are already using a communication aid may request an appointment themselves. Appointments for EAT can be made from the service user themselves or their Occupational Therapist / Physiotherapist / Speech and Language Therapist / educator.

Referrals

Referrals for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Service
The referral should be made by the Speech and Language Therapist. If you are an educator interested in making an AAC referral, please speak to the child’s Speech and Language Therapist.

 

Referrals for Electronic Assistive Technology (EAT) Service

Referrals are accepted from the child’s Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist or Speech and Language Therapists. A member of the School Senior Management Team may also make EAT referrals.

 

Referrals by professionals
Professionals who want to refer a client may download the application and submit it by hand or by post to the below address. You may download the guidelines to support you to fill-in the form.

Click this link to download the Referral Form: Children and Young People
Click this link to download the Guidelines for completing the ACTU Referral Form​

 

Information Day Forms
Those interested in the Informative Day Service, may download the application form and submit it by hand or post to the below address:

Click this link to download the ACTU Information Day Referral Form – Professional
Click this link to download the ACTU Information Day Referral Form – Adult

 

ACTU opening hours:

Monday: 08:00 – 16:00
Tuesday – Friday: 08:00 – 14:30

Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: Not available

 

Address: Access to Communication & Technology Unit (ACTU), Ċentru Pastorali Qalb ta’ Ġesù, Triq il-Biżantini, Qrendi QRD 1802.
Click this link for ACTU location and/or directions

 

For more information on this service, one may send an email on actu.sapport@gov.mt​ or call on (+356) 2165 3991(+356) 77132310.

 

Click this link for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on this service

Upcoming trainings and workshops

ACTU would like to announce their training and workshop schedule for 2024 focusing on AAC. If you are interested to know more, follow the links below for more information and registration form.

 

 

 

 

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