Communicate so everyone understands
SPEECH pathologists Julie Rogan and Fiona Gaske are backing Speech Pathology Australia’s call for greater action to ensure communication accessibility for the 1.1 million Australians estimated to have a communication disability.
“Communication access is vital to enable everyone to participate fully in the social, educational, economic and sporting aspects of community life in the Balonne Shire.
“Like mobility or wheelchair access, communication access is enabling people with communication disorders to get their message across by removing barriers to effective communication or providing extra support and strategies,” Ms Rogan said.
That’s why during Speech Pathology Week, from August 20-26, these speech pathologists are highlighting the week’s theme of Communication Access – Everyone gets the message.
“Communication is a basic human right and Australia needs to do more to achieve communication access for those with a communication disability,” Mrs Gaske said.
“Communication accessibility can be as easy as rephrasing your question in simple language, using pictures, writing, gestures or symbols to help get across your message.
“For businesses, it might mean including plain English signage with symbols and pictures as well as words; or training staff so they are able to communicate successfully with a person with a communication difficulty,” she said.
People with a communication disability communicate using a variety of means, including electronic speech devices, word-based or picture-based communication boards or books, sign and gesture, spelling, and through verbal means.
“Our communities need to be accessible for everyone, including people with communication difficulties, physical disabilities, reading difficulties, vision impairment, hearing impairment and intellectual disability,” Ms Rogan said.
“When we create communication accessible communities, everyone gets the message,” she said.
COMMUNICATION: Communicating in a way people understand is so important.