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Closure of ACE Centre wrecks a unique service
10:10am Wednesday 18th April 2012 in Letters
When I recently visited the ACE Centre in Oxford I was deeply impressed to find a place of recognisable and profound excellence.
This centre shines like a beacon nationally and internationally, bringing acclaim from all.
Not only has it won the respect of professionals in this field but it has been a haven for the service users – people who have not the ability to request a cup of tea or a visit to the toilet were it not for the guidance and support they receive(d) from this centre.
At our school we have a number of pupils who cannot understand nor use speech, who have been given a voice with the help of the ACE Centre and have begun to be able to communicate with their classmates, with their mothers, their teachers.
How can it possibly have seemed like a good idea to close down such a service?
All for the lack of £150,000 I hear. Shame. Shame on the decision-makers who have forced this action.
The ACE Centre moved to a business model 12 months ago, as I understand. And is running at a loss. So what?
All businesses expect to struggle for three years before they turn a profit — why should there be a different set of rules for the ACE Centre?
Does the problem lie closer to home, that the decision-makers involved in forcing this action do not themselves have a close relative who cannot communicate, so they have no idea of what it is like to be in this situation?
It is a sad fact of life that this is often what it takes for rule-makers to sit up and take notice.
While we wait for them to feel the pinch of what they have created, we are expected to accept that the ACE Centre will soon close. It’s not as though there is an alternative service that can take up the slack.
ROSALIE SEYMOUR, Aveline Court, Leighton Buzzard