Bathurst residents are being encouraged to tell their story, however they’re able – to highlight the importance of communication and demonstrate what it is like for the thousands of Australians living with communication impairment.
Speech Pathology Manager Emily Davis said communication is important for participating in everyday life, and people experiencing communication difficulties face many challenges.
“During Speech Pathology week we want to raise awareness about the diversity of ways to communicate. Everybody has a story to tell regardless of their ability to speak.
“It’s estimated that one in five people will experience communication difficulties at some point in their lives. This can range from mild to very severe and can impact on the way they participate in family life, the community, education and work.” Ms Davis said.
Speech Pathologists work with people who have difficulty communicating to maximise their communication potential. There are many causes of communication difficulties, including developmental delays, stroke, brain injuries, learning disability, intellectual disability, hearing loss, and voice difficulties, to name a few.
“Just because someone has trouble talking does not mean that they have nothing to say. They may use other forms of communication, such as a picture board or an ipad. Their communication partner, or ‘listener,’ may need to provide extra help for the person to communicate. This might include asking only one thing at a time, asking questions that have a yes/no answer, or writing down options for a person to choose. The communication is as individual as the person.”
There are different Speech Pathology services and intervention programs in Bathurst, depending on a person’s particular needs. These include Bathurst Community Health, Bathurst Hospital, Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program, Ageing, Disability and Home Care, Bathurst Early Childhood Intervention Service, and private Speech Pathology services.
During Speech Pathology Week (August 19-25) Bathurst Community Health Speech Pathology will have a stall in the foyer of the Bathurst Hospital. We encourage you to come and complete ‘Tell your story’ speech bubbles as part of the national ‘Great Australian Communication Story’, a project that aims to take a snapshot of communication in Australia in 2012.
There are so many different ways to communicate – signing, drawing, using an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device, texting, speaking, video, photographs. ‘The Great Australian Communication Story’ will collect the experiences of people who use all these forms of communication to illustrate what it’s like to live and communicate in a different way. If you would like to participate in ‘The Great Australian Communication Story’ or would like more information about Speech Pathology Week, visit www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au.
Media Opportunity- Media is invited to visit the stall in the foyer of Bathurst Hospital on Tuesday 21st August 2012 1pm. Patients with communication impairment who have undergone speech therapy will also be available for comment at this time. Please contact Media Officer Rachel Buchanan on 0428 261 899 (Wed-Thurs), or Melissa Hamling on 0417 511 738 (Mon-Tues).