Com­mu­ni­cate so ev­ery­one un­der­stands

Balonne Beacon - - NEWS -

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.

PHOTO: LAURA TELFORD

COM­MU­NI­CA­TION: Com­mu­ni­cat­ing in a way peo­ple un­der­stand is so im­por­tant.

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