CALL Scotland provides a Pupil Assessment and Support service for individual children and young people in Scotland with additional support needs who require assistive technology and/or augmentative communication, by referral through local education authority channels (e.g. Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher, Educational Psychologist).
Referrals mainly come from authorities with a Service Level (or 'Partnership') Agreement with CALL. This allows for: advance joint planning and prioritisation on an authority-wide basis, 'booking' of blocks of CALL time, assessment and support for more than one child from the authority, more detailed reports, follow up work, repeat visits, extended equipment loans, and staff development and training. If a local authority does not have a service level agreement, referrals for assessment and support can be made and will be charged on a per-case/per-day basis (or ideally, a service level agreement may then be agreed).
A face-to-face assessment in school is not always necessary: staff can phone or email at any time to ask for advice from the CALL team about a particular learner or specific technology or strategies. This is a free service open to anyone in Scotland, funded by CALL's grant from the Scottish Government Leaning Directorate.
CALL's pupil assessment and support service is appropriate for young people with complex additional support needs including motor speech impairment, language /communication difficulties; difficulties accessing the curriculum especially reading and writing; complex combinations of needs arising from physical or learning disabilities, neurological conditions, specific learning difficulties, or visual or auditory impairments. CALL does not usually accept referral of children with sensory impairments only, or with emotional and behavioural issues only.
CALL's assessment approach is not a diagnostic process, identifying 'within-child' deficits; CALL assessments involve the 'team around the child', and aim to suggest solutions and to highlight the role of the school and others, such as therapists and families, in supporting effective implementation of such solutions. CALL assessments usually take the following form:
- Information is collected from those involved with the child through a referral form, reports and conversations
- Member/s of CALL will visit for a day to observe and interact with the child in school, talk to staff and parents and where possible, try out equipment with the child. Video material, email, Glow Meet etc. can be helpful.
- CALL will write a report with recommendations for action, and send it to the referrer who will distribute copies to those involved
- To support assessments, CALL will lend appropriate equipment for trial, subject to availability.
- The school undertakes to ensure that the recommendations are implemented, CALL will offer support with this if necessary, through follow up visits, and development and training for staff.