WHAT IS COMMUNICATION ACCESS
Communication access is like ramps and accessible bathrooms for people with communication challenges. Communication access is one of the least expensive initiatives that businesses and organisations can take to support equal access and inclusion for all customers and consumers. The Communication Access Symbol is the missing piece in the puzzle to disability access and inclusion. It is an important consideration for all agencies, businesses and organisations, and without it, we are excluding a significant group of individuals from access to our services/products.
Communication access “aims to create a world where people who have communication difficulties are able to communicate successfully with everyone” (Scope)
This means that people who may have communication challenges (for any range of reasons eg. intellectual disability, hearing loss, complex communication needs, English as a second language) feel welcomed and accepted as customers, and that their interactions with services (both staff interactions and self service) are as successful as possible.
The Communication Access Symbol was launched by Scope in 2011.
This symbol certifies that:
- a business has met and adheres to a set of 10 registered standards around Communication Access
- measures are in place to give users of the service confidence that their form of communication will be valued
- staff have awareness and training
- resources are available that will support successful communication.
This symbol is supported by NDIS and Speech Pathology Australia and is seen as the last piece of the access puzzle to ensure a welcoming and inclusive experience for all customers.
WHO IS IT FOR
Did you know that 1 in 7 Australians will have a communication difficulty at some stage in their life?
In addition to this, many people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds could benefit from more overt and visual information. In a busy world with information overload, visual support for messages is helpful to all. When given the option to review a document in plain text versus Easy English with symbol support, most would choose the latter for clear and quick information exchange. Communication Access is not only inclusive but also a smarter way to communicate to customers and consumers.
DISABILITY ACCESS AND INCLUSION PLANS
A DAIP is an active plan to improve access and participation for people with disability. DAIPs identify barriers and measurable actions to achieve accessible and inclusive communities, services and programs for people with disability.
To help bring about positive change for South Australians with disability, all State authorities are being asked to create and implement DAIPs, reporting on them annually from 31 October 2020 and reviewing them every four years. For more information, click here.
For more information on ‘How Communication Access can contribute toward your South Australian DAIP Outcomes’
HOW CAN TWO WAY STREET HELP ME?
Two Way Street are the only organisation in South Australia who have experience with communication access assessments and services that align with the standards for the Communication Access Symbol that is administered by Scope.
We work with you to understand your business and ensure that solutions are tailored to your customer and staff needs.
Two Way Street have a strong reputation in supporting individuals with communication challenges and will ensure that you are not only meeting your access and inclusion requirements, but that you are also making a difference for your customers. Within our community, we can also promote your services as communication accessible to encourage greater engagement.
A tailored solution includes a combination of the following:
- an audit of your organisation’s current level of communication accessibility, including staff surveys, focus groups, a review of current services and we provide report on current status.
- development of individualised resources to ensure communication access for your customers and clients.
- training for all staff and if required a train the trainer program
- development and training in Easy English documentation
- evaluation to ensure the organisation meets the requirements for being awarded the communication access symbol and a recommendation to Scope Australia for certification
- regular follow up to ensure compliance with Communication Access standards
To start a conversation about how your organisation, service or business can become communication accessible, please contact us. We can meet with you to talk about your specific needs and provide a quote that suits the size and diversity of your organisation.
For Communication Access services outside of South Australia, please contact Scope’s Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre
Phone: 03 9843 2000
DOWNLOADS AND COMMUNICATION ACCESS RESOURCES
Communication boards are a key tool to for organisations to help facilitate conversations with people who have complex communication needs. Below are a couple of examples:
Two Way Street can work with you to create specific communication boards as part of your Communication Access Solution.
COMMUNICATION ACCESS AND THE UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH A DISABILITY
ARTICLE 2 – DEFINITIONS
For the purposes of the present Convention: “Communication” includes languages, display of text, Braille, tactile communication, large print, accessible multimedia as well as written, audio, plain-language, human-reader and augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, including accessible information and communication technology;
ARTICLE 21 – FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND OPINION, AND ACCESS TO INFORMATION.
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities can exercise the right to freedom of expression and opinion, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas on an equal basis with others and through all forms of communication of their choice, as defined in article 2 of the present Convention, including by: (a) Providing information intended for the general public to persons with disabilities in accessible formats and technologies appropriate to different kinds of disabilities in a timely manner and without additional cost; (b) Accepting and facilitating the use of sign languages, Braille, augmentative and alternative communication, and all other accessible means, modes and formats of communication of their choice by persons with disabilities in official interactions; (c) Urging private entities that provide services to the general public, including through the Internet, to provide information and services in accessible and usable formats for persons with disabilities; (d) Encouraging the mass media, including providers of information through the Internet, to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities; (e) Recognizing and promoting the use of sign languages.
For more information and to get your business awarded the Communication Access symbol, email email@example.com
Two Way Street dedicates our work toward Communication Access to the memory of Ryan Bright – our friend and colleague who would be extremely proud that we are continuing this work.