Speech Pathology Week 2012
pathologists urge Australians to ‘tell their story’
Speech Pathology Week 19 - 25 August 2012
Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) estimates that more than 1.1 million Australians have difficulty communicating or being understood, a statistic speech pathologists hope to change through a national story-telling campaign.
Launched at the beginning of Speech Pathology Week, the ‘Great Australian Communication Story’ project encourages people around the country to ‘tell their story’ and connect with their community.
SPA National President Christine Stone said many Australians struggle to communicate effectively enough to interact with their friends and families, work and participate in social events.
“Even though we estimate more than 1.1 million Australians have difficulty communicating, we know that number is much, much higher.”
“Difficulties can be present at any age, from newborn babies who can’t feed properly, to a preschool child who has difficulty making speech sounds, a primary school child who has autism, a teenageer who stutters, a young adult who has had a stroke, a teacher whose voice is strained, a retired person with Parkinson’s disease who has difficulty coordinating their speech movements – right up to an older person living with dementia.”
“During Speech Pathology Week, we want people to share their stories, and to know that they are not alone,” Ms Stone said.
The ‘Great Australian Communication Story‘ aims to take a snapshot of the stories and experience of people living and working with communication impairment in Australia in 2012.
The project asks members of the public to fill in speech bubble templates which will be compiled into an e-book, to be released in September this year.
“Communication is about sharing stories and information. Just because someone communicates differently from you doesn’t mean that their story isn’t worth hearing,” Ms Stone said.
“We hope that by sharing their stories, it may encourage people to visit a speech pathologist to help understand and improve their communication.”
Speech pathologists study, diagnose and treat communication disorders, including difficlty with speech, language, swallowing, fluency (stuttering) and voice. They work with people who have difficulty communicating because of developmental delays, stroke, brain injuries, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, dementia and hearing loss, as well as other problems that can affect speech and language.
The negative impacts of communication difficulties are well documented and include a higher risk of literacy problems, lower academic acheivement, low self esteem and behavioural problems, particularly in children and young people.
Studies have also shown a higher risk of criminal behaviour, with more than 50 per cent of adolescents in the juvenile justice system diagnosed with a communication impairment.
Speech pathology changes lives and Speech Pathology Week is our annual opportunity to showcase how.
This year, we are encouraging people all around the country to ‘tell their story’ and share their experiences of communication and communication impairment.
It's a chance to share the incredible stories of communication that are taking place in every town and city around Australia and gain an insight into how Australians communicate in 2012.
Be part of 'The Great Australian Communication Story' and add your story. Click here to fill in a speech bubble template however you like - write, draw, anything! - and send it back to us to be included in'The Great Australian Communication Story' e-book to be published in September. Be sure to return your speech bubbles to:
The Great Australian Communication Story
c/- Speech Pathology Australia
Level 2, 11-19 Bank Place
Melbourne VIC 3000
Come on Australia, tell your story!
South Australian Branch - Speech Pathology Week 2012
Previous Speech Pathology Week Sites:
- About SPA
- Join SPA
- SPA News & Events
- Information for Members
- Information for the Community
- Lobbying & Advocacy
- SPA Discussion Boards