Supporting People with Communication Needs: Embedding Inclusive Communication in Your Practice

This event will consider the principles of inclusive communication and the practical actions required to ensure that people with communication support needs are effectively supported by services and included in society. 

Meeting Scotland’s communications needs

Having a communication difficulty can result in individuals being misunderstood and experiencing exclusion from events, activities and relationships. This can lead to a range of problems including increased vulnerability to abuse and hate crime, low mood, anxiety and depression, reduced employment and housing opportunities and a lower standard of care.

It is estimated that over a million people in Scotland have some form of communication support need. Inclusive communication means sharing information in a way that everybody can understand. It can save both time and resources for service providers and the people who use these services, as well as improve outcomes for both people with communication support needs and the wider community. 

Key issues we’ll examine with you

  • Inclusive communication: what is it and why does it matter?
  • Taking a personalised, multisensory approach to communication
  • Assessing how well we are meeting people’s communication needs
  • Communication between partners: working together to give people a say
  • Enabling participation: consultation, environment, education and technology

Who should attend

This event is for anyone working with those with communication needs or developing inclusive spaces where those with communication needs can have their say in issues that affect them, such as speech and language therapists, access and inclusion workers, social workers, teachers, carers and healthcare professionals amongst others.



09:15 Registration and refreshments

10:00 Opening remarks from the chair

Session 1: The Communication Challenge

In this opening session we will reflect on the lived experiences of those with communication needs and what we can do to help them overcome the barriers they face and empower them to be engaged in society.​

10:05 What is inclusive communication and what does it mean in practice?

Kim Hartley Kean, Head, Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists Scotland

10:25 Total communication: taking a personalised, multi-sensory, approach

10:45 Questions and discussion

10:55 A person using communication supports discusses their experiences engaging in services

11:05 Refreshments and networking

Session 2: Working Together to Meet People’s Communication Needs

Inclusive communication should automatically be a part of a person’s life so wherever they are and whatever service they are engaging with they are enabled to participate and make their views known. This is only possible if services and individuals work together.

11.20 Partners in communication

Dr Paul Hart, Head of Research and Practice, Sense Scotland

11:40 The inclusive communication hub

Morven Brooks, Chief Executive Officer, Disability Equality Scotland

11:50 Case study 1

12:00 Case study 2

12:10 Case study 3

12:20 Questions and discussion

12:40 Lunch and networking

Session 3: Enabling Participation Through Communication Support

In this final session we will share good practice examples where individuals have been empowered through inclusive communication to be an active part of Scottish Society.

13:30 Engaging those with communication difficulties in consultation

13:40 Creating inclusive public spaces

14:00 Enabling participation amongst Scotland’s young people

Gillian McNeill, Specialist Speech & Language Therapist, CALL Scotland (Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning)

14:20 Technology and communication

14:40 Questions and discussion

14:55 Closing remarks from the chair

15:00 Close of event

*Subject to change


Central Edinburgh, venue to be confirmed in due course. 


Delegate rates (excluding VAT):

  • Discounted rate: £145 (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 | 2+ places £195 (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 | 2+ places £245 (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please email or phone 0131 285 1635

26 April 2018
United Kingdom



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