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May 28, 2024

New research confirms: assistive communication doubles quality of life for people with disabilities while reducing costs for society

The health economic study “Exploring the benefits of assistive communication” has been conducted by the Swedish research firm Augur and was commissioned by Tobii Dynavox. This study shows that assistive communication not only improves the well-being of users and their network, but also brings clear and measurable benefits to society by increasing their ability to work. 

The study, that is the first of its kind, surveyed the experiences of Swedish communication aid users, with focus on those with ALS, cerebral palsy and autism, as well as their network, such as family members and caregivers. The results of the study show that communication aids have a positive impact on all aspects of how the World Health Organization (WHO) measures quality of life; physical health, mental health, social relationships and living environment. The benefits of using assistive communication* mainly impact three groups: the users, their network and society.  

Doubled quality of life for users 

The report shows that the overall sense of well-being is doubled among users with a communication aid, compared to how life would have been without it.  

The most significant benefits of communication aids for users are the improved abilities to express needs and preferences (86% gave this response), that they feel encouraged to communicate (72%) and that they can form and maintain relationships outside the closest family (69%). 

Improved understanding for the user and increased independence 

It is confirmed in the study that assistive communication brings improved understanding between the users and their close network, including family members and caregivers. 88% of caregivers state that assistive communication brings more exact and effective communication with users, and 83% think that it is easier to understand and meet the user’s needs. 65% of caregivers state that improved independence for both the user and the caregiver relieves stress and frees time to do other things, such as work or study. 

Enhanced work ability brings reduced costs for society 

The study shows that society benefits from the use of assistive communication in terms of increased work ability for users and caregivers, as well as reduced healthcare utilization. According to the health economic analysis made, society will save more than three times the cost for each communication aid prescribed. 

“The study demonstrates that assistive communication has the power to substantially improve the quality of life for people with disabilities, while at the same time paying for itself three times over. By commissioning this report, we wish to raise awareness and help guide political decisions to support more people with disabilities in getting access to the communication aids they need,” said Fredrik Ruben, CEO of Tobii Dynavox. 

“The ability to make yourself understood and to be able to tell others how you feel or what you want is crucial for members of Neuro. The health economic study clearly shows that we must change today's overly restrictive and unequal access to communication aids,” said Lise Lidbeck, Chair of the Swedish patient organization Neuro, that works for improved rights and conditions for people with neurological diagnosis. 

Read the full report here: Assistive Communication Health Economic Study.

*Definition of assistive communication 

Assistive communication solutions are purpose-built hardware and software, controlled via alternative access methods, such as touch or eye gaze to empower users with the ability to communicate. These solutions are typically used by individuals with limited motor and/or speech abilities, due to conditions such as ALS, cerebral palsy or autism.  

About the study 

During the period December 2023 to February 2024, the research company Augur conducted a health economic study commissioned by Tobii Dynavox on the use of assistive communication for people with disabilities. The respondents were mainly communication aid users with cerebral palsy, autism and ALS, or people in their network, such as family or caregivers. The communication aids used by the participants are provided by various suppliers, including Tobii Dynavox. The study was conducted through a combination of in-depth interviews (24 respondents) and a quantitative online survey (81 respondents).  

In the survey, the attitudes within the user group, and between users and caregivers were explored. The focus was on how users, their families and caregivers experienced and ranked the various benefits of communication aids and their ability to contribute to improved quality of life. A health economic analysis was conducted by a health economist to calculate the impact on society. The participants in the study were invited via independent industry associations and other existing contacts of Tobii Dynavox, as well as through the use of social media platforms.   

Angie using a communication aid


Elisabeth Manzi
Corporate Communications Director
+ 46 (0)725 74 63 13


Dynavox Group AB (publ) is the parent company for Tobii Dynavox, the global leader in assistive communication. Headquartered in Stockholm, and listed on Nasdaq Stockholm (DYVOX), Dynavox Group, together with its brands has over 700 employees and serves customers in 65+ countries. Tobii Dynavox’s custom designed solutions enable people with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, ALS, autism and spinal cord injury to communicate with a voice of their own, develop literacy skills and live more independently. To date, hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have benefited from our integrated solutions, which include hardware, software, clinically developed language systems, mounting solutions, training, and dedicated support. We offer extensive funding expertise to facilitate funding for as many people as possible. As voice and motor impairments are common among our users, our solutions are accessed via alternative methods, such as eye gaze or touch screen. Using AI-based speech synthesis, we offer users a personalized voice identity in over 30 languages, for children and adults.