Communication – one size fits all? Exploring and using a variety of ways of communicating with people

Extract from Learning Disability Alliance, 21 September 2015

Alison Matthews writes about her work with Total Communication, exploring and using a variety of ways of communicating with people.

In my role as a Speech and Language Therapist (S&LT) I have seen
some fantastic changes to the support offered to people with communication
impairments and a learning disability over the years. I began work in the early
1990’s in time to be involved in the resettlement of people from the large
institutions; back then S&LT was a fairly new role in many learning
disability teams. Thankfully, gone are the days when sign and picture support
was viewed as a radical idea and a great deal of encouragement was needed for
support staff to consider altering their communication style. Many services now
embrace the concept of adapting their communication and produce accessible
information or easy read materials to demonstrate this.

What I’m observing now when discussing strategies to support
communication appears to be something akin to brand loyalty. When I mention
using a range of symbol sets or image banks, what I’m hearing more often is ‘we
use Change Picture Bank’, or ‘we tend to use Photosymbols here’. There are many
good reasons to support the work of both of the picture banks mentioned,
however with visual support there really is no one size fits all…

Source and full article at