Our voice

Our key areas of advocacy will be championed.

View the Our voice platform of the Strategic Plan 2017-2019 This graphic is associated with the hyperlink that precedes it and indicates the document is in PDF.

Communication accessible communities

Communication inclusivity and accessibility is recognised by government and the community, with Speech Pathology Australia (the Association) influencing policy change and adoption of standards

  • Foster an Australian level collaboration of organisations with an interest in and commitment to communication inclusivity and accessibility (a Communication Inclusivity and Accessibility Collaborative)
  • Develop, or adopt a clear definition of communication accessibility and the standards and guidelines that need to be met, with involvement of relevant bodies, such as Standards Australia Identify where communication accessibility standards may be adopted or endorsed, including within specific regulations, acts and policies
  • Promote a clear vision and position of the Association, and once formed, that of the Communication Inclusivity and Accessibility Collaborative
  • Engage with key strategic partners and “influential champions” to embed communication accessibility in Australian legislation, policy and conventions, for example, the Disability Discrimination Commissioner (and similar roles), politicians, and key media figures.

Governments and key community/social service organisations and local businesses demonstrate Communication accessibility

  • Partner with key organisations who have existing programs (or plans) for implementing communication accessible communities
  • Form an advocacy and promotional campaign to engage governments and key organisations in understanding and adopting a communication accessibility policy, setting clear targets and outcomes, for example:
    • Consider an awareness day (partner with consumer groups) to advocate for government to “hear the voices” of their constituents
    • Target key service/commercial organisations to build their understanding of why communication accessibility is important for their customers and business
    • Recognise and promote leading communication accessible organisations
  • Pilot a regional site for a dedicated campaign (Gold Coast in 2018 to coincide with the Commonwealth Games in April and the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) Conference in July), leading to future events and activities
  • Support international collaborations, such as the International Communication Project to drive a global understanding of communication accessibility and work towards a universal symbol.

Speech Pathology Australia and its members are equipped with knowledge and resources to ensure that organisations and practices are communication accessible and to promote this concept within the community

  • Lead by example with the Association’s National Office undertaking a communication accessible audit, and implementing required changes, for example, easy English fact sheets, documents and website information, and training for front of house staff
  • Develop a position statement and guidelines for achieving communication accessible organisations and communities
  • Provide resources for members to utilise and implement within their practice and work settings.

Access for all

Increased access to funded speech pathology services

  • Utilise relevant research, where existing, or commission a report on available service and funding streams (including eligibility) and identify gaps (barriers) in access for different client populations or conditions
  • Undertake an annual audit of government (public and Medicare) and private (such as, private health insurance) funding of services to enable longitudinal comparisons Identify key target populations, conditions or sectors, to form a clear profile and messages around the service need gaps and cost-benefit of interventions for this target group/s
  • Identify features impacting access, for example, rebates and out-of-pocket expenses, lack of access to tele-practice, funding limits, service inadequacies and others
  • Promote models and technology which support access in areas of thin markets and/or disadvantage (for example, telepractice, hub and spoke models), advocating for practitioner access to necessary infrastructure and technology
  • Build community awareness and government response through an active media campaign, such as, a series of proactive media releases, based on efficacy and outcomes of speech pathology services, which can be sent in response to sudden unexpected national news, or at regular intervals, to build the awareness and case for equitable access to adequate speech pathology services

Increased understanding of how the capacity of speech pathology services match client and community needs (with respect to level and distribution) across the country

  • Map distribution of speech pathologists across sectors, service types and location (i.e., metro, rural, remote practice)
  • Commission further research on mapping available speech pathology services against need for speech pathology, including areas of high demand and/or disadvantage, and with consideration of workforce projections
  • Work with Primary Health Networks to ensure analysis of local needs includes access to speech pathology
  • Capture features that indicate efficacy and diversity of available services, including caseload/workload demands and ability to meet need
  • Conduct mapping initiatives over time to show changes in the available workforce and share this information with policy/political groups and other key stakeholders
  • Work with universities to ensure the future speech pathology workforce is prepared for optimal practice in rural and remote locations
  • Provide professional development and resources to support the profession to utilise models and technology that optimise access.

Timely service across the lifespan

Improved access to speech pathology services at key points in time for specific target client groups

  • Utilise evidence (efficacy research) and work with partners to demonstrate and advocate for timely identification and intervention for identified groups, for example:
    • Young infants and children at risk of poor speech, language and communication development (utilising Australian Early Development Census data) and promote adoption of universal early childhood surveillance programs and targeted intervention
    • Adults post stroke with aphasia (linking to the National Stroke Guidelines) and draw on the Australian Aphasia Rehabilitation Pathway
    • Older people in the community (living at home) with links to available funding through My Aged Care (working with general practitioners and the Regional Assessment Service)
    • Young people within or at risk of contact with the juvenile justice system.

A national strategy for early childhood language and literacy is established

  • Play a lead role in the work of the Early Childhood Language and Literacy Coalition with the aim of achieving government recognition and commitment to a national strategy
  • Continue to collaborate with key organisations and relevant government departments
  • Identify support within government to provide funding and assist in influencing policy and initiatives in this regard.

View the Our voice platform of the Strategic Plan 2017-2019 This graphic is associated with the hyperlink that precedes it and indicates the document is in PDF.