Communication Hub: Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Project 2020-2022

Project Overview and Purpose

Communication is an important part of life. Effective communication influences our relationships and interactions, our involvement in activities, and our ability to make decisions.

Over a million Australians have a communication disability that affects their ability to understand and/or be understood by others.

Communication disabilities are diverse – from mild to complex, transient to lifelong – but nearly always impact the activities and participation of the person with the difficulty.

Speech Pathology Australia and AGOSCI are developing a website to assist this diverse group of people with communication difficulties, their families and communication partners, and the wider community to understand the importance of communication in everyday life.

The website will provide high quality, accessible and evidence-based resources to ensure users can empower themselves and others.

The website aims to be engaging, interesting and different in the way it presents information, resources, and case studies to explain communication disability and how to support communication.

There will be careful evaluation of the outcomes of the project in terms of website content, accessibility, and usefulness. We seek and value constructive feedback regarding changes or additions to improve content, structure, and accessibility from a wide range of users through surveys, focus groups and individual consultation.

Website aims

  • Describe communication and the diverse ways people communicate
  • Explain why communication is important to everyone
  • Identify communication as a basic human right
  • Describe the diversity of communication disability
  • Differentiate communication differences from disability
  • Describe the impact of communication support needs
  • Identify the role of communication partners
  • Explain communication accessibility and the responsibility for organisations and businesses to be accessible
  • Provide resources to support communication.

Who is the website for?

  • People with communication support needs
  • Communication partners - their family, friends, carers and other people who support them
  • The wider community.

Website content

The website development will be purposefully driven by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities (aiming for AAA WCAG2.1 compliance). Proposed content includes:

  • stories/videos of people with different communication support needs
  • stories/videos of communication partners
  • infographics
  • written information
  • fact/tip sheets and FAQ
  • links to external resources and organisations.

2021 Advisory Committee

A range of people with communication disability and communication partners, as well as professionals and organisations are working on the ILC Grant Project Advisory Group.

Consumer representatives

  • Kim Beesley - communication partner (to young adult with aphasia)
  • Alfred Brownell - person with communication difference (cultural and linguistic diversity) and communication support needs due to hearing impairment
  • Siobhan Daley - person with communication support needs; AAC user (Minspeak)
  • Leigha Dark - communication partner (to young child with communication support needs); speech pathologist and academic
  • Tania Harris - communication partner (to young adult with communication support needs); representative on SPA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee
  • Alan McGuirk – person with communication support needs; AAC user (GRID FastTalker and sign)
  • Stephen Ward – person with communication support needs (aphasia following young stroke).

Disability support organisations representatives

Speech pathologists

  • Tani Clarke
  • Leigha Dark
  • Alanna Jinks
  • Harriet Korner
  • Cath Olsson
  • Harmony Turnbull.

Contact

Any requests for further information, questions about the project, or offers to be involved in the website evaluation should be emailed to the Association’s ILC Project Manager.