Every individual has a right to communication and we are governed by standards and codes of practice to ensure that these needs are met. Communication is a basic human right, without communication the individual is unable to realise or exercise their rights. Under the human rights act 1998 all people have the right to ‘freedom of expression’. 1. 2 When working with service users who have specific communication needs it is important to have a good understanding of what their needs are, so they can be supported and encouraged in everyday activities.
If I didn’t understand their specific communication needs, I would not be able to communicate fully with the individual, their needs would be unmet and basic skills of effective communication may be forgotten. 1. 3 The environment I am in is important for communication towards service users. If I am communicating with a service user that has hearing loss or poor sight the lighting needs to be sufficient enough for them to see clearly or lip read. Background noise may hinder communication between the service user and I as they may get distracted by the noises and not hear what is being said.
Positioning is important so that the service user and I can both see the body language and facial expressions between ourselves. All these can be helpful with effective communication. 1. 4 Some service users because of certain health conditions have their own way of communicating; this can be due to hearing difficulties, in which case they will use sign language. Another could be because of learning problems and these people use a form of body language, some might use their eyes whilst others communicate by making facial expressions, sounds or even pointing.
A further reason could be due to a severe medical condition and in some of these cases the individual can learn to use electronic equipment to communicate. 1. 5 No matter what a person’s disability if it affects their communication they will need help and support to express them in a way that will make them to be understood. Some forms of communication aids are listed below:- Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) most of us use this form one way or another every day without thinking about it.
Objects, photographs, symbols Hearing aids British sign language (BSL) Makaton, which is used to help those who have difficulty in forming words Braille Picture exchange communication systems (PECS) Pen and paper Touch Translator Interpreters 1. 6 When having difficulties in expressing yourself it can lead to becoming distressed and agitated, without the right communication aids to help their needs they may become depressed, isolated and withdrawn, which can change their behaviour to frustration, violence and acts of anger.
Some people may give up trying to communicate altogether which can end up having their rights denied as they weren’t given the right communication aids, support or listened to in the first place. 2 2. 3 It is important to access information for specific communication needs so that you can support the person in the best possible way. In my work setting before the service users arrive we are sent a care plan of the needs they may have, if they use any communication aids, I will then talk to the individual to try and get any extra information, also talking to the family/carers, friends and other professionals involved in their care.
Internet can be useful when you are unsure of a certain illness, disability or communication aid an individual may have. As their needs change so will their care plan. 5 5. 1 As electronics are ever increasing and upgrading so have various aids to support communication and promote independence. Example, people with sight loss can have access to talking microwaves, talking clocks, talking photo albums and talking books.
Also there is a lightwriter which is a portable device which the user types what they want to say and it says it for them, this is handy for those who have trouble getting their words out or cannot speak at all. 5. 2 There is support and training available to help an individual use communication aids, this is important to ensure they are using it properly. In many cases the aid fails because the individual received little or no support in setting up the aid. Training is important to the individual, staff, family and friends, the training can continue for a while as their needs change so might the aid to help them.
It is important that the communication aid is set up properly, if not this may result in a fault with the aid and the aid not being used to its full potential. With all electrical aids a qualified electrician must check all pieces to ensure they work properly and are fit for use. The aid needs to be charged at all times and ready for use else the individual may lose communication halfway through a conversation which can then affect the behaviour of the individual by becoming frustrated and angry.