Communication Needs

We all have a right to communicate and voice our opinions. If an individual’s communication needs are not met, this means they are being deprived of their basic human rights. They will be unable to express themselves and communicate how they are feeling, what they want to do, what they need, etc. If individuals are unable to communicate their needs it will have an impact on their well-being, relationships with family, friends and other members of their community.
Explain how own role and practice can impact on communication with an individual who has specific communication needs.
In my role as a support assistant it is my duty to ensure that I work in a person-centred way to support, encourage and promote individuals to live independently. This includes treating them with respect and dignity. I speak clearly and not use any jargons, etc. I identify their preferred method of communication.

It would be bad practice to not meet the individual’s communication needs. The individual may not receive the correct support or assistance. They will be unable to share their views or concerns, or have a say in what happens to them or express how they feel or what they need.They may become frustrated, angry and isolated. They may also become depressed, feel undervalued and have a low self-esteem.
Analyse features of the environment that may help or hinder communication
Features that may hinder communication may include, poor lighting, lack of privacy, distraction, noise from TV/radio, people all talking at the same time, seating arrangements, not facing individual when talking to them, covering mouth, eating or chewing, talking too fast or too sow, poor ventilation, room too hot or cold.
Features that may help communication may include, talking slowly, clearly and concisely, eliminating any background noise, turn TV/radio down or off, sitting individual where they can hear or see what is going on, facing the individual when talking to them, using flash cards, pictures, etc. , not covering mouth, eating or chewing, finding a quiet place to talk, making sure room is well ventilated and at a comfortable temperature
Analyse reasons why an individual may use a form of communication that is not based on a formal language system
The individual ay be from another country. They may not have been taught a formal language system. They may have developed a system that is easy for them to understand.They may have a hearing or sight impairment or have a learning disability or mental health issues.
Identify a range of communication methods and aids to support individuals to communicate
A range of communication methods and aids that support individuals to communicate include sign language, body language, interpreters, hearing aids, hearing loops, speech aids, minicom, writing, drawing, pictures, objects, symbols, etc.
Describe the potential effects on an individual of having unmet communication needs
Unmet communication needs means that the individual is being deprived of their basic human rights. They will not be able to voice their concerns or opinions. The individual may develop mental health problems and may become depressed, frustrated, angry and isolated. This will also have an effect on their relationship with family and friends.
Explain how and when to access information and support about identifying and addressing specific communication needs.
It is important to take action as soon it has been identified that an individual has specific communication needs. You should establish what the needs are. Talk to the individual, their family, friends or others who are may support the individual to find out how to meet identified needs. Information can be sort from relevant support groups, social services or other professionals with experience in a specific area of communication. The individual’s GP can also make a referral to a consultant specialising in the relevant field.
Identify specialist services relating to communication technology and aids
There is a range of communication technology aids available, including devices known as Voice Output Communication Aids (VOCA) and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). VOCA are dedicated to communication and may not have any computer functions. AAC devices are either symbol or text based. There are also communication software that can be added to a computer, mobile phone or PDA to enable a person to type what they want to say and play it back so others can hear what was typed.
Describe types of support that an individual may need in order to use communication technology aids
The device/equipment should be personalised to meet the individual’s need and set up correctly. The individual and others supporting them should receive training on how to use the device. The individual should be supported to ead and understand the instructions and to follow any health and safety advice on how to use the device correctly.
Explain the importance of ensuring that communication equipment is correctly set up and working properly
It is important to ensure that the equipment is set up correctly and working properly otherwise it would be a waste of time and money as the individual’s communication needs would still not be met. There could also be health and safety issues if the equipment is not set up or used correctly.

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