iPads and apps for speech and language therapy are valuable tools in our profession. Unfortunately, not every department has access to iPads and apps for use with patients.

This justification letter is intended for use by speech therapists in the UK working with adult patients in community settings who wish to request iPads and apps for their departments.

Dear [insert name],

The Speech and Language Therapy department is requesting funds to purchase new iPads and apps for use with our patients. The use of apps in speech and language therapy has rapidly increased in recent years and there are now a wide variety of available apps covering a range of speech and language therapy areas such as aphasia, dysarthria, dysphagia, voice, fluency disorders and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

There are a number of apps that can be used as stimuli in skilled therapy for specific speech and language impairments such as word retrieval, writing/spelling, reading, spoken language comprehension, semantics, phonology, articulation, etc. Many of these apps for therapy are based on evidence-based treatment approaches and provide interesting and engaging stimuli that motivate patients to learn and practice. It is important that we are able to modernise our clinical practice by incorporating such excellent therapy resources to achieve better efficiency and improved patient outcomes.

There are also a number of augmentative and alternative communication apps (AAC) that can enable those with severe expressive language difficulties to find a voice and a means of communicating. For example, a text to speech app can be invaluable to a patient with MND who has lost the ability to make their speech understood. As speech and language therapists, it is vital that we have the knowledge of available AAC apps and that we are able to trial them with patients so that we can offer them the best advice and service.

Apps do not only benefit patients; they also benefit therapists. Apps vary in cost and can be relatively cheaper than other resources such as printed workbooks, flashcards, and books. Furthermore, they allow for the availability of equipment such as decibel meters, voice recorders and in-built camera & video-recording at an affordable price. Apps can also save time as they can they can allow for easy tallying and calculation of scores. 

We understand that you may have concerns about infection control. We can assure you that the iPads will be appropriately sanitised. We will enclose the iPads in protective cases that can be wiped with anti-microbial wipes between patients.

We realise that you may have concerns about patient confidentiality. We will devise a confidentiality policy and ensure that therapists abide by it.  The policy will prohibit the storage of any patient names, audio or video recordings, or other confidential information on the iPads. In some cases, exceptions may be made if prior written consent is obtained from the patient. 

We will provide staff education on how to use the iPads and incorporate apps into clinical practice. We will also devise a policy addressing how to evaluate and select apps for purchase as well as the frequency of iOS and app updates

We will keep the iPads in a secure location and mark the name of our department on them in indelible ink in order to reduce the risk of theft.

We will set up a department iTunes account so that apps purchased will remain department property and will not be associated with any employee’s personal Apple ID. We will purchase apps using iTunes vouchers (preferably pre-paid) and we will also sign up with Apple’s Volume Purchase Program for business to enable us to purchase the appropriate number of licenses for our iPads.

We are requesting funding to cover the purchase of  _____ iPads at a cost of ____ each,  some additional funding £_____ for initial purchase of apps and accessories including a protective case. We also request that  ____ percent of the annual budget is used for the purchase of new apps. 

We would be most grateful if you could allow us to make this purchase. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Yours sincerely,

[insert your name]

We’d love to know if you have found this letter helpful in requesting and obtaining funding for iPads and apps within your SLT department. Please let us know by emailing us at lorraine@aptusslt.co.uk.

Also, if you have any suggestions about how this letter can be improved, please let us know.

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