A team of Speech and Language Therapists and Assistants are based at Hedleys Percy Hedley School in Forest Hall and Killingworth, Hedleys Northern Counties School in Jesmond and Hedleys College.

The team has highly specialist skills in working with people with dysphagia (eating, drinking swallowing difficulties) and communication needs associated with their disabilities, including cerebral palsy, autistic spectrum disorders, multiple and profound learning disabilities, acquired disorders such as dementia, acquired brain injuries.

We work within a multi-disciplinary approach, including internal disciplines and outside agency, to support individuals in a holistic, person- centred approach.

We have a total communication philosophy across all environments, and provide specialist intervention including supporting the use of a range of Voice Output Communication Aids (VOCA’s) and low-tech symbol systems, the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), manual signing (Makaton and BSL), Intensive Interaction, and sensory based activities

Individuals are provided with thorough specialist assessments, individual goals and targets; therapy input is provided on an individual or group setting or therapy programmes may be provided with advice for staff to follow.

Staff training sessions are delivered to ensure generalization of the highly specialist programmes.

Individuals with dysphagia receive a specialist assessment from dysphagia qualified therapists and meal management plan with regular monitoring. All support staff are trained in dysphagia by the SLTs.

Check out the video below, produced by the Percy Hedley School City & Guilds AAC group, with help from Hedleys Karten Media Suite.

The group made this to raise awareness of Voice Output Communication Aid users and how to be supportive as communication partners

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