Man in blue T-shirt holding a tablet up to his ear next to a table with tea and coffee making facilities

When the missing piece arrives – James’s Story

Do you get excited by the thought of transforming someone’s world?

What about breaking barriers through technology?

How would helping someone find that missing piece feel?


Meet James. A 32-year-old autistic man who prefers to communicate with body language over words, which means that although he can make his needs known, it’s limited.

Body language equates to 55% of communication. So, what about the other 45%? 

That’s something we want to support James, to find. 

So how are we doing that?

First, the BIG tablet arrived…

James pulled up a chair, sitting himself down in front of it as colleagues looked on; sometimes, the people we support need support to work with assistive tech, would James?

No, not James! 

He took to it instantly and what seemed like effortlessly, spending hour after hour completing jigsaw after jigsaw without help!

See it in the 1-minute clip here:

So, the team began to wonder…

What else might be possible?

See for yourself in the 2-minute clip here:

The team uploaded pictures of the food and activities he likes to a smaller tablet, and now James can say what he wants. In shops and cafes, he goes up to the counter, presses the picture, and a voice communicates it for him.

The farm James goes to says it’s a godsend, for helping them understand James and meet his needs quicker and easier.

It helps him communicate at home too.

Assistive tech is a massive win for person-centred planning, helping the people we support have greater control and ability to communicate their choices, wants and needs overall.

Before, it was hard for James to have more than one person in his space and who can blame him?

Having one person in your space when you struggle with communication can be one person too much, let alone two.

Due to his assistive tech tablet, he can now communicate what he needs more speedily and more efficiently, and as a result, he feels understood and is happy for more than one person to be around him.

Now James is a much happier person ?

If you’re excited by the thought of helping someone find that missing piece and James’s story has inspired you to help others #GetMoreFromLife  you can get started by joining a 1000-strong team of Discovery colleagues doing that very thing across Somerset by getting started here

Inspired to join us? The Dimensions group (which Discovery is a part of) is awarded as one of the UK’s Great Places to Work and Best Workplaces for Wellbeing by Great Places to Work (2022)