How communicatively accessible are your health care services?
Submitted by Kevin Frew, Speech-Language Pathologist, Speech-Language Pathology
According to Communication Access Now, over 440,000 Canadians have communication disabilities that may impact their ability to access health care. An estimated 35% of stroke patients have aphasia, which is a communication impairment that impacts identity and relationships because of difficulties speaking, understanding, reading, and writing. While nowadays most health care services take physical access for granted (if people have difficulty walking we provide walkers or wheelchairs and wheelchair ramps), communicative access often remains overlooked.
In honour of Speech and Hearing Month (observed every May), we would like to celebrate the PHC Social Work team members who recently participated in a training module for Supported Conversation for Adults with Aphasia (SCA). The module is designed to help health care professionals learn tools to acknowledge and reveal the competence of people with aphasia who “know more than they can say”. Health care workers trained in SCA become the ‘ramps’ that help people with aphasia access their medical needs.
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