As most of you would know by now, Speech Therapy Week 2016 (ST Week 2016) is held from 7 to 11 November 2016. This annual event aims to raise public awareness about our Speech and Language profession, as well as communication and swallowing disorders.
This year, our theme for ST Week 2016 is Communication for Connection: Spread the Word. This was chosen because it highlights one of the most important areas of Speech-Language Therapists’ work – helping our clients across all populations with communication disorders. Without effective verbal and/or non-verbal means of communication, our quality of life can be significantly impacted because we will be deprived of one of the most basic human needs—connection with others.
You would have probably seen a copy of the ST Week 2016 poster and logo. Ever wondered what it all means? Well, both were chosen as a visual representation of our theme’s underlying meaning. Simply put, the lightbulbs in the darkened space represent thoughts or feelings that people with communication difficulties have, but are unable to express clearly. Hence, the presence of a single person standing alone within that space.
Public awareness and understanding of this area of our work is still in its infancy. In our local community, the concept of communication is frequently overshadowed by the more concrete, “measurable” aspects of communication, i.e. talking, speaking fluently, being intelligible or audible, using long(er) sentences or appropriate vocabulary. However, we know that people with communication disorders face so much more difficulties than just being able to speak fluently or clearly. They struggle to be accepted by society, they want others to be able to understand them. Without a clear understanding of the difficulties people with communication and swallowing disorders face, the public may not know what to do or how to help them. So let’s do our part to spread the word about communication and swallowing disorders, the work we do with them, and how everyone else can help them.
Let’s get talking!
Updated – 7 Dec 2016
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