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Access to Communication & Technology Unit (ACTU)


​Mission Statement

The Access to Communication Unit (ACTU) provides a quality assessment service to people with special needs in the area of Assistive Technology (AT) and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). Assistive Technology consists of broad range of devices, technical aids and strategies, which can help solve problems encountered by people with disabilities in every day life, education, pre-vocational or social situations. Augmentative and Alternative Communication includes a range of strategies which can be used to support expressive and receptive communication difficulties.

The Team

A multidisciplinary team of assistive technology advisors brings experience from a variety of backgrounds including occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and education. The team operates both a unit based and home/school based service.

Service Objectives

The main areas of concern for people who contact the service are issues in communication and accessing Information technology. Through these difficulties learners may also be experiencing difficulties in accessing the educational curriculum, having problems with reading or writing and difficulties in controlling the environment either at home or in school or at work.

ACTU therefore aims to provide the following:
  • An Assistive Technology and/or Augmentative and Alternative Communication assessment service for students with physical, communication and/or learning disabilities.
  • Recommendations and implementation of assistive technology (access to technology) to help the student participate in home and school activities.
  • Recommendations and implementation of the appropriate augmentative communication strategies.
  • To provide support to carers at home or in school to implement the Augmentative and Alternative Communication/Assistive Technology recommendations.
  • To promote the educational inclusion of Augmentative and Alternative Communication/Assistive Technology users.
  • To provide specialised training to professionals in Augmentative and Alternative Means of Communication (AAC) and assistive technology.
Service Offered
  • Assessment for Augmentative Communication devices. This includes low tech and high tech systems.
  • Alternative means of Computer access where the student has difficulty to access a computer or will have difficulty due to a deteriorating medical diagnosis.
  • Assessment for Environmental Control Systems such as opening doors using remote control devices, personal alarms systems etc.
  • Assessment for alternative access to technology through for example, the use of switches.
  • Trial of specialised software such as educational, text to speech and voice recognition systems.
  • Support to implement recommendations both at home and at school.
  • Parent and professional training.

Eligibility to Service

Students with physical disabilities, complex communication needs, and students with learning disabilities may be referred to this service.


ACTU has an open referral system so parents, carers, educators and professionals can make a referral.  A referral form needs to be filled in to apply for the ACTU service. 







Contact Information

Access to Communication & Technology Unit
Student Services Department
Triq Fra Gaetano Pace Forno
HMR 1100
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