Clinical Service

Kent and Medway Communication and Assistive Technology (KM CAT)

Contact us

Adult team

KM CAT (Adult Team)
Department of Medical Physics
Kent and Canterbury Hospital

Children and young people team

Find out more about the KM CAT children's service

What we do

Our Kent and Medway Communication and Assistive Technology (KM CAT) team help meet the needs of those who may benefit from specialist alternative and augmentative communication (AAC).

Our service provides:

  • opportunities to try a communication aid

  • access to communication equipment

  • training to help you use your communication aid

  • support for local therapists.

Understanding AAC

Augmentative and alternative communications (AAC) are systems and strategies that help people communicate. They are helpful for people who have difficulty with speaking or no speech at all.

Because everyone’s needs are different and may change over time, there are a number of options for people who want to use a communication device. AAC may look like:

  • Low-tech solutions - these involve mainly paper-based tools, such as an alphabet-chart or a symbols chart. 

  • Light/mid-tech solutions - these are generally battery operated, such as a voice amplifier for people with quiet speech, or a simple device that you can record a few messages on and then press it to ‘speak out’.

  • High-tech solutions - these involve using an electronic device to assist speech. 

AAC providers

About your appointment

Once your referral has been accepted, we will contact you and your referrer/local therapist to arrange an appointment. The assessment is a process that may take more than one session.

We will give you the opportunity to try using a communication aid.

You will be involved in all decision making around what communication aid best meets your needs. Please note that this may not always be a high-tech solution, as some clients find a paper-based communication aid more effective.

Once a suitable communication aid has been identified, this will be provided to you on a long-term loan basis.

Training will be provided to you and those supporting you.

How to find us

Our KM CAT adult service is based at Kent and Canterbury Hospital in Canterbury.

The KM CAT children and young people team is based at The Old Railway School in Ashford.

How to access this service

If you think you may benefit from AAC, speak with your local therapist, e.g. speech and language therapist. If you are not already known to a local therapist, your GP can refer you to one.

Your therapist may then refer you to KM CAT, if they believe that your needs meet our criteria.

Information for health professionals

If you're a health professional and looking to learn more about the support and resources we can provide or how to refer, see our KM CAT for health professionals information.