Speak Up for Communication Rights

This graphic reads 70 years. Universal Declaration of Human Rights with the hashtag - one word - Stand Up for Human RightsDuring 2018, the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is being celebrated by Speech Pathology Australia (the Association).

Article 19 of the declaration provides that “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Fundamental to this is recognising communication is a basic human right. People with communication disability often are restricted from realising their right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas because of their difficulty communicating. Communication disabilities impact all aspects of life (education, employment, socialising, etc.).

Speech pathologists play a crucial role in enabling people with communication disability to realise their communication rights.

Special edition at National Conference

View photographs from the formal launch of the Special Edition of the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology at the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference held in Adelaide in May 2018. Click on a thumb-nail to view a larger version of the photograph (Photo credit: Louise Hutchinson).

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  1. Gaenor Dixon (President, SPA), Gail Mulcair (CEO, SPA), Prof Kirrie Ballard (Editor, IJSLP), Prof Sharynne McLeod (Guest Editor, IJSLP) (Photo credit: Louise Hutchinson).
  2. Natalie Davall (Taylor & Francis), A/Prof Anne Whitworth (Editor, IJSLP), Prof Kirrie Ballard (Editor, IJSLP), Prof Sharynne McLeod (Guest Editor, IJSLP), A/Prof Deborah Hersh (author), Hayley Tancredi (author) (Photo credit: Louise Hutchinson).
  3. Authors and editors of the special issue of IJSLP celebrating communication as a human right (L-R): A/Prof Jane McCormack, Prof Sharynne McLeod (Guest Editor, IJSLP), Gail Mulcair (CEO, SPA), Hayley Tancredi, Prof Kirrie Ballard (Editor, IJSLP), Prof Bronwyn Hemsley, Prof Lindy McAllister, A/Prof Deborah Hersh, Dr Bea Staley (Photo credit: Louise Hutchinson).
  4. Speech Pathology Australia National Conference delegates celebrating 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and communication as a human right (Article 19) (Photo credit: Louise Hutchinson).

Special edition of the International Journal

This is the cover of the special issue of the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.To mark the occasion, a special issue of the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology will be published in 2018. View the special issue

All members of Speech Pathology Australia will receive a copy of the special edition (either hard-copy or electronic). Additionally, all papers are freely available online.

View the table of contents of the special issue.

The special issue of the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (2018, volume 20, issue 1) celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and aims to expand the discussion of communication as a human right. Not only as it relates to Article 19 (the right to freedom of opinion and expression) but also to subsequent national and international conventions, declarations, legislation, policies and practices.

The forward to the special issue has been written by Mr Alastair McEwin, the Disability Discrimination Commissioner and Mr Edward Santow, Human Rights Commissioner, at the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The special issue addresses communication as a human right from four perspectives:

  1. Communication rights of all people;
  2. Communication rights of people with communication disabilities;
  3. Communication rights of children; and
  4. Communication rights relating to language.

How to get involved?

There are four things members can do:

  1. Promote communication rights every day
    How do you do this? Acknowledge the person you are communicating with. Everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas. Adjust your communication style to accommodate the person you are talking with (e.g. use yes/no questions). Take time to listen to what the other person is communicating.1
  1. Sign the Universal Declaration of Communication RightsThis is logo of the International Communication  Project.
    Developed the International Communications Project, the declaration (pledge) has over 10,000 signatories. Sign the pledge today!
  1. Use this Speak Up for Communication Rights website
    Keep up with events and promote communication rights using the #SpeakUp4CommRights and #StandUp4HumanRights hashtag. Read papers from the special edition of the International Journal, discuss these with colleagues, and promote them throughout your workplace and community. Visit the Stand Up For Human Rights website.
  1. Join activities to celebrate the 70th anniversary of UDHR
    Add your voice to the United Nations’ campaign by promoting the importance of communication rights and Article 19 through the media, social media, community activities and speaking engagements.
    Check out the United Nations Stand up for Human Rights - Add Your Voice! video collection.

Social media

Celebrate the 70th anniversary and promote communication as a basic human right using social media.

On Twitter follow these handles: @SpeechPathAus | @IcommunicationP | @IJSLP | @wespeechies and use the hashtag #SpeakUp4CommRights (this mirrors the United Nations’ #StandUp4HumanRights hashtag)

Add #SpeakUp4CommRights to your Twitter profile to show your ongoing support for the celebrations.

Use other social media platforms – e.g. YouTube, Instagram, Facebook – to promote the 70th anniversary.

1. McLeod, S. (2018). Communication rights: Fundamental human rights for all. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 20(1), 3-11. doi:10.1080/17549507.2018.1428687