Communication Disability

Communication Disability

Meet some people

People with communication disability or difficulties are a diverse group with a wide range of lived experience.

Listen to people talk about their interests, their individual needs and challenges. Hear what helps them communicate more effectively.

Meet Lisa. Lisa leads a busy life as a mother, fashion designer and advocate for people with communication disabilities.

She lost her verbal speech after having a stroke when she was thirteen, and now uses a text-to-speech app on her iPad and her phone. Read more

Meet Kai. Kai is 13 years old and is autistic.

Kai likes being at home and hanging out with friends at school or at the shops, but can also feel overwhelmed in these situations, especially when they find it difficult to get their message across. Read more

Meet Ian. Ian is a minister and active in his church and community.

Over the last five years his hearing has deteriorated, which is having a big impact on his work, which is centred around communication. Read more

Meet Kate. Kate is a teenager who loves cooking, dancing and hanging out with her family.

She was born with a chromosome abnormality affecting her speech, language and cognition. Read more

Meet Jarrod. Jarrod has been diagnosed with motor-neurone disease, which causes weakness that gets worse over time.

Jarrod uses headset control with a device for written communication and may use it eventually for spoken communication. Read more

Meet Lisa. Lisa is a young Bunjalung woman with Cerebral Palsy. She runs a business with her sister creating and selling clothing protectors made using indigenous fabrics.

Lisa is non-verbal and uses communication boards and cards, vocalisations and gestures to communicate. Read more

Meet Parker. Parker is a young man who loves photography, basketball and sky-diving.

He has Developmental Language Disorder but he doesn’t let his difficulty understanding others and expressing himself stand in the way of living life to the fullest. Read more

Meet Karen, mother of Leo. Leo is a 10-year-old boy who has a love for creative story-telling, drawing and languages, despite having communication challenges.

When Leo was a toddler, he was diagnosed with a speech-language delay, and then when he was six his family was told he had autism. Read more

Meet Dale. Dale is an independent young man, who enjoys the company of friends and family.

He has Cerebral Palsy which affects the muscles in his mouth and chest, making it hard to speak clearly. Read more

Meet Vikesh. Vikesh has a day job is providing IT support to a large primary school and his night job is stand-up comedian.

Vikesh also stutters. Read more

Meet Kirby. Kirby was a teacher until 2014 when she was diagnosed with a brainstem tumour. The surgery to remove the tumour resulted in quadriplegia.

At first Kirby could not talk or swallow due to a tracheotomy but she was determined to speak again. Read more

Meet Bruce. Ten years ago, Bruce was an engineer working overseas.

Then he had a stroke which left him with aphasia. Aphasia causes difficulties with speaking, understanding others, reading and writing. Read more

Meet Aria, mother of Paloma. Paloma is a six-year-old girl who is non-verbal due to a neurodevelopmental disorder, Phelan-McDermid Syndrome.

She is learning to communicate using a speech generating device. Read more

Meet Peter. Peter had a stroke at 65 years of age. This left him with dysarthria, which means he has very slurred speech.

Being difficult to understand can be very isolating. Read more

Meet Niki. Niki is a young woman who loves knitting, movies, and dancing.

She has an intellectual disability that impacts her communication, but she loves to chat and make friends. Read more

Learn More

Speaking up and spelling it out: personal essays on augmentative and alternative communication, by Melanie Fried-Oken and Hank A. Bersani. Twenty-seven diverse individuals who use AAC, from teens to senior citizens, give first-person accounts of how living with AAC has affected them.