Vulnerable Witnesses Bill (SPA Media)
Speech Pathology Australia has released a media release urging Members of the South Australian Upper House to pass the Vulnerable Witnesses Bill. Amongst other initiatives, the Bill gives people with complex communication needs, whether victims, witnesses or defendants, a general entitlement to use an alternative form of communication and to have communication support for any contact with the criminal justice system.
Arising from this media release, Tim Kittel, SPA Director, spoke on ABC Radio 891 about the new legislation and the challenges people with a communication difficulty often face and have to overcome. Listen to Tim Kittel on ABC Radio 891. Tim Kittel did a later interview on the same subject on Radio 5RPH. Listen to Tim Kittel on Radio 1197 AM RPH.
SPA also welcomes the State Government’s commitment to implement a Communication Assistant Scheme that will include the introduction of trained communication partners to support people with complex communication needs throughout their contact with the criminal justice system.
SPA’s Chief Executive Officer, Gail Mulcair, and other Association officers are discussing with the South Australian Attorney-General's Department how speech pathologists can be involved in the implementation of the Communication Assistant Scheme, especially, in determining the best way a person’s communication needs can be supported.