Communication Disability

Communication Disability

A good life with communication disability

It can be helpful to understand the reasons that a person has difficulties with communication.

But the most important thing is working out what a person with communication difficulties needs to have a good life.

Various supports and strategies can give access to communication for everyone. Sometimes these are called 'communication supports' or 'communication support needs'.

With the right supports, every person with communication difficulties can overcome barriers to living a good life.

Tuning in to the person

The appropriate supports will be based on a person's individual communication needs, strengths and preferences. So, the first step is tuning in to the person, and getting to know them and their communication.

This requires respect and patience. It can take time to learn about a person's preferences and interests. It can involve 'trial and error' to find out what works for them.

Some people know what they need, but other people rely on others to help them explore the possible supports.

Exploring the supports to have a good life with communication disability

Assume everyone can and wants to communicate; it is a human need and a human right

Think about communication and social goals, now and in the future  

Identify communication skills and options to focus on, and who can help with this

Find out what types of services are available, including assessment, therapy, and social supports

Look into making changes to the communication setting that could make communication easier

Investigate other communication options that could support or replace speaking if needed

Ask a speech pathologist if communication technology might be useful and what training is available

Think about how communication partners can support communication, and seek out training options

Look for accurate and good quality information to help explain the communication difficulty to other people

Find out if there is an association or support group for people with this type of communication difficulty

Investigate if anyone is lobbying for better access or more appropriate policies related to communication difficulties

Check out eligibility for NDIS funding for the communication supports to have a good life

What do you need to have a good life?

The ideas and supports listed above are just a place to start.

You will have your own strengths, preferences, and dreams for how you want to live your life.

If you have communication difficulties, remember there are always options that you can explore with people you trust. People around you can get to know your communication, and can try many supports that help you live a good life.

Your communication is important!

Learn More

Hanging Out Program (HOP) by Dr Sheridan Forster An attitude and approach to reduce isolation through attentive interaction.