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Communication Access: An Australian journey

Session 
6.2
Practice Report
  • Hilary Johnson (Communication Resource Centre - Scope Australia)
  • Denise West (Communication Resource Centre - Scope Australia)
  • Barbara Solarsh (Communication Resource Centre - Scope Australia)
  • Hank Wyllie (Communication Resource Centre - Scope Australia)
  • Ron Morey (Communication Resource Centre - Scope Australia)
Summary

This paper will outline the process for the development and launch of communication access symbol in Victoria, and how places might become communication accessible.

Method/Activities/Techniques

We developed a communication access symbol through community consultation. We also developed a communication checklist to assess businesses and facilities who want to become communication accessible. We have trained people with communication disabilities to become communication assessors. Businesses services and organisations are judged to be ‘communication accessible’ based on thirty criteria. The communication access symbol is awarded to places that meet ten minimum standards.  

Results/Findings

Currently 20 Victorian facilities across the hospitality, health, local government and disability sectors are undergoing the assessment process. Sixteen facilities have already become communication accessible (www.scopevic.org.au/communicationaccess). We have employed fifteen trained communication assessors.

Conclusions

People with any kind of communication disability can expect to be treated with dignity and respect, wherever they see the symbol. The symbol also means a person will be given time to communicate, and the listener will make an effort to communicate in the way that is best for the person, so that s/he can get the message across.  There is national and  international interest in  communication access and a challenge arises how to implement this outside Victoria.

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