A campaign is underway in Scotland for an Inclusive Communication Law. The importance of inclusive communication (also sometimes known as accessible communication) is being increasingly recognised elsewhere in the UK too.
An Inclusive Communication Law would require organisations and services to ensure they take steps to make communication more possible and easier for anyone who experiences communication difficulties.
The need for inclusive communication is already written into the 2018 Social Security Act. An Inclusive Communication Law would make this essential everywhere.
The campaign is being led by the Inclusive Communication Alliance, a collaboration of individuals and groups, including Ideas for Ears, who are working to improve inclusive communication. It comprises:
- Disability Equality Scotland
- Ideas for Ears
- Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
- Sense Scotland
What is inclusive communication?
Inclusive communication is delivered in a way that is matched to the communication strengths and preferences of those being communicated with. It allows everyone involved in the communication interaction to take part on an equal footing, with this protected as a human right.
Inclusive communication is about enabling people to:
- Receive and perceive communication – this includes hearing, seeing, and sensing in any way a sound, sight, touch, taste, smell, movement.
- Understand and comprehend communication – interpret it as intended by the person who produced the communication
- Express themselves – encouraging and respecting everyone’s right to produce a message by whatever means a person chooses (e.g. by gesture, sign, picture)
Successful communication requires meaningful messages to go “in” (to be received and understood) and to go “out” (be responded to through one or more methods of expression).
How does it fit with hearing access?
For inclusive communication to be delivered, there must be hearing access. The requirement to ensure people can ‘receive and perceive’ communication cannot otherwise be achieved.
Hearing access makes it more possible for more people to more easily hear and follow the spoken word and other audible information.
It deals with:
- Building design (acoustics)
- Provision of equipment (sound systems, including microphones, loudspeakers and hearing loops)
- Organisational behaviour (how things are set up and run and how information is shared)
- Human behaviour (how people speak and communicate, and what they do and don’t do)
- Culture (awareness, understanding and empathy)
Inclusive communication recognises that we ALL have the capability to communicate and be involved in communication, so long as the form of communication is right for us.
Share your comments below or email us.