Steve Martin Associates

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The Assessment

Since March 2020 the majority of assessments have been conducted over a video link; the response from instructing solicitors, their clients and our team of assessors has been overwhelmingly positive.

Looking to the future we feel a flexible approach to the assessment is required and we are adopting the 'hybrid' model outlined in the flow chart.

In most cases we expect our initial client 'contact' to be over a video link – even if a face-to-face meeting is subsequently arranged. This has the following advantages:

Video meetings can be scheduled after school or outside normal working hours;

Appointments can be changed relatively easily without cancellation fees;

Disruption for the claimant is minimised;

Less impact on the other family members;

Eliminates travel and accommodation costs;

Reduces harmful emissions and CO2 in the environment;

Reduces traffic on our congested roads;

If a face-to-face meeting has to be arranged it will often be shorter and less disruptive.

At any stage either the instructing solicitor or the consultant can request a face-to-face meeting. In that event the consultant will seek instructions.

AT crosses over with many other disciplines and the reports of the SLT, OT and accommodation experts may impact the AT recommendations. Furthermore, the technology expert is not qualified to make medical or psychological judgements and will necessarily rely on the written evidence of others. For example: a detail such as a client's poor control of body temperature may be missed during a meeting but will become clear when reviewing the medical evidence. Medical reports will also describe the changing needs of the claimant as they progress through rehabilitation or deterioration due to the ageing process or medical complications.

Every case will carry its own nuances. For example, mobility may be a common thread but, in some cases, a visual impairment may be a complicating factor. In other cases, the client might have a poor awareness of danger. Compensating technologies therefore need to be tailored to the individual.

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Typical Assessment Workflow

The Expert

There are no governing bodies regulating the work of the AT consultant and few qualifications will provide anything other than a theoretical understanding of the subject. As a result, experts may be drawn from a variety of disciplines: such as teaching within a special school/college; charities serving the needs of a specific client group; professional experience from within the sector; or therapists such as occupational therapists (OT) and speech and language therapists (SLT) who have a special interest in, and experience of, AT.

Our experts will provide an overview of the goods and services required.

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SMA consultants have or are working towards the following qualification: