What are communication aids?
Communication aids are resources you can use to help get your message across. They come in many shapes and sizes and are customised to meet your individual needs. Check out our Types of Communication Aids page to see more examples and photos.
We can support you to develop an aid that suits your specific communication needs.
Scope provides these resources for eligible adults, through the Non-electronic Communication Aid Scheme (NECAS), for free. The scheme funds communication aids such as communication boards and books, community request cards, personal histories, activity schedules and many more.
What is the Non-electronic Communication Aid Scheme?
NECAS provides a range of non-electronic communication aids to adults who have communication difficulties. It aims to help people with a disability to successfully communicate.
NECAS is a service provided by Scope that is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
As the NECAS provider, we support you with:
- Information and advice
- Individualised non-electronic communication aids
Please read our handout ‘How to Design a Communication Aid’ for things to consider when ordering or making a communication aid.
Who can access the Non-Electronic Communication Aid Scheme?
You may be able to access NECAS if you meet the following criteria:
- Are an adult aged 18 and over
- Have communication difficulties
- Have permanent or long term disability
- Live in Victoria
If you need a communication assessment, contact your local Speech Pathologist through the Communication Access Network (CAN).
If you are a participant in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) you are not eligible for NECAS. You can access funding for non-electronic communication aids through your NDIS individual support plan.
How can I apply?
Complete our NECAS application form and return it to Scope’s Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre.
Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre
830 Whitehorse Road
Box Hill VIC 3128
Fax: 03 9843 2033
What if I am not eligible for NECAS?
If you are under 18 years of age, or if you are a participant in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), you are not eligible for NECAS. You can access funding for non-electronic communication aids through your NDIS individual support plan, or other funding package.
We can provide you with a quote for your communication aid, which you can give to your planner or package facilitator. Please read our handout ‘How to Design a Communication Aid’ for things to consider when requesting a quote for a communication aid.
There is also a range of communication products and resources available in the Scope shop.
For more information
Contact the Communication Inclusion and Resource Centre:
Phone: 03 9843 2000
As a Speech Pathologist working with clients’ at home or in their rural Victorian communities, I am thankful for NECAS’s support. NECAS has supported my clients’ journey with regards to their communication difficulties and provided them with that ‘link of hope’ through their grieving and healing process, assisting individuals and their carers to continue to have alternative options for communication and life participation.
— Mary, Speech Pathologist
Key Word Sign Australia
Key Word Sign is the use of manual signs and natural gesture to support communication. Key Word Sign is used to encourage and support language development in children and adults with communication difficulties.
Key word signing uses a core vocabulary of specially selected words that comprises concepts and ideas considered to be the most appropriate for children and adults with communication and language difficulties. Each word (concept) is matched to a hand sign. Key word signing uses Auslan signs. Auslan is the native language of the Australian deaf community (Australian Sign Language).
Visit our Key Word Sign Australia page for more information.