Project information

Help disabled children communicate.

Help disabled children learn to communicate so they can connect with their family, tell someone what they need, make friends, talk about their feelings, build self-esteem, improve their mental health and access learning. You can help a child with a motor disorder say “I love you” to their parents!

April 2017 - March 2018

Charity information: Pace

Pace logo
  • Need


    Motor disorders like cerebral palsy are caused by brain damage which occurs before, during or soon after birth, often leaving children unable to speak or use sign language. Not being able to communicate can be detrimental to a child’s mental health, leaving them vulnerable, isolated and frustrated and without the ability to socialise, play or express their needs. Children in a wheel chair who can’t speak still have the capacity to communicate and learn and should not be written off by society.


    PACE provides specialist staff who help develop a way of unlocking communication. They use a range of tools and approached tailored to each child’s ability. For many the answer is personalised communication books and computers. Some will use their eyes to select their chosen symbol, others their hand or even their foot. Developing communication skills means that the children can access education, make friends, say how they’re feeling, develop their self-esteem and bond with their family.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Give two PACE children 70 days of intensive speech and language support.


    » Plan, schedule and deliver half day one-to-one sessions with specialist communication therapists.

    What success will look like

    Achievements are observed and documented against planned milestones and celebrated with the children. Where appropriate they are shared with the PACE community.

    Aim 2

    Enable both children to meet the eligibility criteria for government funded personalised computers.


    » Learn the picture and meanings of the symbols.
    » Understand and navigate the symbols and their categories in a communication book.
    » Increase the strength of the child chosen access method, i.e. their eyes or hand to use the computer.
    » Learn how to select symbols, move around the categories and then instruct the computer to verabilse what they want to say.

    What success will look like

    Securing a government grant for a personalised computer and being able to use it. This will open up a new world Independence for a child!

    Aim 3

    To help the children learn how to be proactive communicators, not just responsive.


    » Create situations that encourage the children to direct a person or request an activity.
    » Use toys that connect with their computer to show the child how they can control their environment.
    » Use materials such as play-doh, paint and glitter to give the children choices, demonstrating the power of communication.

    What success will look like

    When a child can, at will, express their thoughts as an individual, initiating a conversation in environments outside of the classroom.

    Aim 4

    Give children a way to engage and bond with their family and their community.


    » Allow children to take home school computers to practice communicating outside the classroom.
    » Teach parents how use the system to aid the child’s learning.

    What success will look like

    Parent telling us that the children are choosing to speak about their needs and feelings, and better able to relate to and play with their siblings and friends.

    Aim 5

    Open a world of play and learning, giving them back their childhood and unlocking future potential.


    » Encourage children to use their developing skills to communicate with other children, not just adults.
    » Provide group working and play session to allow the children to develop friendship using their new skills.
    » Provide toys so that the children can play independently, through their computer.

    What success will look like

    The children will be able to ask for toys, or an activity They will also be able to share what they know, ask and answer questions in an education environment.

  • Impact


    Children who are able to communicate have access to the world. They can control their own environments, reducing their vulnerability and increasing independence. Communication gives children greater choice and more opportunity. Having the power to expresses themselves improves mental health, self-esteem and enables them to develop mutual relationships instead of being dependent. As they grow they can become an active and contributing member of their community.


    A child may be ill
    A staff member may be ill
    A staff member may leave
    The rate at which a child learns may vary
    None of the risks will prevent the project from reaching success. There is flexibility in the timing to allow for long periods of leave or a slower progress, as the funding can roll over to the next academic year. If a staff member were to move on we have other communication assistants to pick up where they left off.


    We will share updates through storytelling, images and videos of milestones and key successes in our bi monthly e-newsletters and the termly printed newsletters.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £15,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £11,720 One-to-one therapy 70 days of specialist therapy with a communication assistant- £5,860 per child
      £3,280 Software My world software packages £1,499 per child and compatible toys
  • Background


    We are based in Aylesbury, but support children and their families from across Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Greater London.


    Jack age 3 and Luke age 6, their parents, their wider family and friends.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    PACE are a recognised national leader with 25 years of experience of working with children who have motor disorders like cerebral palsy. We offer a unique blend of intensive education, therapy and support through a team of highly skilled team of conductors, SEN teachers, physios, occupational and speech and language therapist. We help around 250 children a year. Each child’s needs are different and we pride ourselves in putting the children d at the very center of what we do.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.



    Jo is a communications specialist who teaches the symbol and navigation systems, instilling the power of communication, through play.


    Amy is a specialist who delivers learning through play, inspiring the children to use communication books and computers to gain their independence.