The majority of public sector services that provide assessments and provision of assistive technology will come from either local authorities or the NHS and fall within a general classification of disability services.
Within the NHS there appears to be no coherent structure or naming process for specialist disability services, the level of provision also varies between regions and NHS Trusts. Accessing a specialist service will depend upon their specific referral criteria; referrals are usually made by social or health care professionals.
If your needs fall within the responsibility of the local authority, who provides funding for social care services, then you are entitled to request a needs assessment from your local social services department. The outcome of the assessment may lead to equipment provision or further referrals to specialist services in either your local authority or the NHS.
If you are in higher education then you may be entitled to Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) funding for assistive technology.
Because of the large number of specialist services within the UK it is not practical to list them all here, local specialist services can be found by searching your regional NHS Hospital Trust website or by using government websites such as, GOV.UK and NHS Choices. These sites have search tools to help find local services and contact details.
To help guide you, a list of the most common names of specialist services relating to assistive technology is provided below. It is advisable to also make enquires to your local hospital or social services help desk, or via your GP practice.
Assistive Technology Service
Augmentative and Alternative Communication Service (AAC Service)
Communication Aids Service
Communication and Assistive Technology Service
Computer Access Service
Electronic Assistive Technology Service (EATS)
Environmental Control Service
Occupational Therapy Service
Posture Management and Physical Disabilities Service
Prosthetics and Orthotics Service
Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Service
Rehabilitation Engineering Service
Specialist Disability Service
Special Seating Service
Speech Therapy Service
Wheelchair and Seating Service
There are many other service names and variations on those listed above.
Information from the National Health Service on conditions, treatments, local services and healthy living. NHS Choices is full of tools and resources to help you make informed decisions about your health as well as a guide to care and support.
Disabled Students Allowances Quality Assurance Group (DSA-QAG)
Information and guide for students applying for Disabled Students Allowances (DSA). The website provides help and advice, and search tools for finding DSA assessment centres and assessors who undertake needs assessments, university disability officers, and suppliers of disability equipment.