Choice Support partnered with Insane Logic to pilot the use of the MyChoicePad app in a number of services located in Southwark. Insane Logic devised the pilot programme with a Speech and Language Therapist to see what sort of impact MyChoicePad would have on a group of people who are supported by Choice Support that have communication difficulties.
Choice Support initially selected 12 people they support who they thought would benefit from the project. A baseline assessment, including a communication questionnaire and an assessment of Makaton symbols and signs, was performed by the Speech and Language Therapist on both the supported people involved and a key member of the staff team. Insane Logic then provided training for staff who supported the chosen people, which consisted of 1 day of Makaton training and 1 day of MyChoicePad training. A mid way assessment was carried out and then a final assessment at the end of the 11 weeks.
One of the participants of the pilot was Derek. Derek is deaf and communicates with other people by using signs. He uses some Makaton signs, alongside British Sign Language and some of his own signs he has created. Derek is also very keen on technology so he was an ideal candidate to take part in the pilot. Some of Derek’s supporters used signs to communicate with him but others did not. As a result Derek often got frustrated with this because he could not express his needs and wishes in a way that all of his supporters could understand.
Using MCP has been a brilliant experience for Derek and his supporters. Not only was Derek able to use the application to converse with other people and express his everyday needs using signs, symbols, and pictures, but he also took the initiative and taught his supporters new signs and how to actively engage with him using the application. This has empowered Derek and at the same time created a communication platform for his supporters to use and as a result they feel more confident that they can really understand Derek.