Communication access means that everyone can get their message across. "Communication access occurs when people are respectful and responsive to individuals with communication disabilities, and when strategies and resources are used to support successful communication" (Communication Resource Centre, Scope, 2013). This paper will describe and outline Scope's Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre's journey to employ (and pay), in an open employment market, people with disabilities as assessors, educators and mentors.
We developed accessible position descriptions; information sessions were held for people interested in positions; modified recruitment, induction and training programs were developed; we identified necessary work adjustments and support required in the workplace; we developed individualised work agreements as well as resources and strategies to assist employees.
There was an increase in community awareness of AAC. Evaluation of education sessions by participants indicate that training delivered by a presenter with a disability was one of the most valued components.The opportunity to meet and communicate with someone who used AAC was rated highly by paticipants. Educators and assessors report an increase in confidence, social networks, financial status and self-worth.
Disability community education programs must be delivered by people with disabilities. It is a successful strategy that results in positive outcomes in the areas of attitude, knowledge and skills of communities. Educators and assessors report an increase in confidence, social networks, financial status and self-worth.