Speech Pathology Australia estimates that there are at least 1.1 million Australians experiencing difficulty communicating right now.
1/3 of people with stroke have aphasia
20% of those over the age 65
6% of people with hearing disorders
13% of people with ADHD
18% of people living post-stroke
27% of people with MS
30% of people with Dementia
32% of people with Parkinson's disease
55% of people with Cerebral Palsy
69% of people with Down syndrome
75% of people with Autism
People with communication or speech difficulties are doubly disadvantaged than those members of the community with a disability because of:
Poorer employment outcomes and more employment restrictions. They are less likely to be employed, more likely to be restricted in the type of job and more likely to need a disability support person or someone at work to assist them;
have poorer social opportunities- are less likely to receive or make visits to family and friends, far less likely to communicate with family and friends over the phone, and less likely to leave home for activities/visits;
are more likely to be attending special schools, rather than attending normal school with a special class.
We estimate at a conservative figure at least 20% of those individuals would require Communication Rights Advocacy or Information over their lifetime.
People with little or no speech includes those with impairment in the following areas of communication
Impact of speech loss
Communication impairment affects expression and, therefore, the individual's ability to be understood by others.
Communication is an act most of us take for granted every day. Communication is an activity between a sender and a receiver, generally someone speaking and the other person listening. Communication is a complex process that relies on appropriate language selection (e.g. word use and sentence structure), word and sound articulation (the movements of the throat, jaw, mouth and tongue) to produce speech, fluency (the rhythm of speech), voice, and pragmatics (using appropriate language and gesture given the audience).
If barriers exist and or equipment for communication is inadequate, individuals’ opportunities to participate are non-existent or are reduced.
People with little or no speech are one of the most marginalised and vulnerable groups within the disability area, experiencing the highest incidence of community exclusion and segregation. Through past research, we are informed on the key issues of this population and the barriers they experience. These include restrictions and limitations within the community due to a lack of general understanding of their communication, a hesitance or resistance to the use of alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) systems within facilities such as schools and day centres, and a lack of autonomy with regard to daily activities and places of residence.