Lady communicating using a communication picture book
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Communication and Technology Project

People with learning disabilities face a range of communication barriers which can lead to them being mis-understood, having little involvement in what is going on around them and in decision making which can also mean they have less opportunities in life.

Speech and language therapy helps remove these barriers by promoting inclusive communication and accessible information. It supports communication-friendly environments; develops the communication skills of those working with and supporting people with learning disabilities; and promotes and creates accessible information so it can be shared in ways that everyone can understand.

Inclusive communication helps people to express themselves in the way they find easiest. It promotes their quality of life, enabling them to build relationships with their families and friends, achieve their potential, and make choices about their treatment and care.

Here at Style Acre the people we support, and their support teams can access specialist Speech & Language Therapy to help aid them in their communication.

We promote an Inclusive Communication approach so that all employees use the communication method most meaningful to the person they support, whether it be through signing, or using objects, social stories or visual resources.

Active Support ensures support team members understand how to do things with people, rather than for them and all support workers undertake communication training. This training shows how communication difficulties can impact on people’s daily lives and teaches people how to use vital communication tools with those they are supporting.

Our Speech & Language Therapist works closely with our IT Manager who heads our Technology for Independence programme which is designed to help people we support communicate through the use of any technology, aids and or communication devices. People take part in an assessment to identify appropriate technology and communication tools to help enhance their everyday activities. The assessment tool also provides a personal communication profile for everyone assessed.

Specialist technology and communication aids are provided wherever possible; we often need to fundraise to purchase this specialist equipment.

If you would like more information please contact us.

Our Stories

Joe's Story

Joe is a young man at one of our community hubs who loves to be cool and make friends. But sometimes it’s hard for him because people find it difficult to understand his speech. Staff have worked with Joe to help him use his phone to show photos of what he’s talking about and they are all using more Makaton signs. Joe is now more confident at communicating with lots of different people.

James' Story

After working with James and our Speech and Language Therapist, we could see that James really struggles with expressing his emotions.

We looked at different types of emotions cards for James to use. James helped to choose his cards so he can hand staff a card if he is unable to express what he is feeling. We also started a spider diagram to help him remember all the things that he enjoys doing. Having something visual really helps James to be more independent.

We then discussed what things cheer him up. He said he is best friends with Andrew and he loved playing pool. So, we have also set up an emotional wall with all the photos of emotions he may be feeling and photos of his friends doing the Makaton signs which we have been learning together. This reminds him how many friends he has here at T3.

A selection of emotion cards connected with Communication and Technology project

Lisa's Story

At Turnstyle we use picture communication books to help people get their message across. Lisa has a lot to say but sometimes she finds it hard to use the right words. You can see here how she can easily respond to questions and points out a range of answers. Using communication tools can really help boost people’s confidence levels and promote more independence.

Ollie's Story

Ollie is great at choosing what he wants to do each day. Staff give him pictures to make these choices independently.

Gemma's Story

Gemma can make her choices using objects. This is more effective for Gemma because she finds it more difficult to make sense of pictures.