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Communication Forum Scotland

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Communication Support Principles

Principle 5
Principle 5

Give people the opportunity to communicate to the best of their abilities.

Adapt the environment

  • identify where and how people like to meet
  • choose a quiet venue with minimum distractions
  • lay out the room so people can see you and each other
  • have tables for people to put papers on
  • have clear signage
  • people who use electronic communication systems may need to sit close to a power socket in order to charge their device

Audio quote   Audio quote: Lindsay 

 Written quote  Written quote: Bill C

Adapt the timing

  • send out information in advance
  • consider a pre-meeting to help participants prepare
  • schedule meeting times to suit participants
  • ensure the meeting does not go on too long - some people can only concentrate and communicate for short periods at a time
  • have regular rest breaks
  • allow plenty of time for people to:
    • understand what is being said
    • read and understand any written information you circulate
    • get their message across

Audio quote Audio quote: Pat and Margaret

Audio quote Audio quote: James

Adapt the methods of communication

  • different people prefer different methods of communication
  • what form of communication are you going to use?
    • face to face?
    • telephone?
    • letter?
    • email? 

Ask yourself:

"If I had difficulty understanding or expressing myself, how would I respond?"

Encourage the use of support from a carer or support worker if this is required. Let the person choose who should provide this support. Budget for it.

Adopt a positive communication style

  • use a positive and encouraging manner
  • don't show impatience or put pressure on people
  • avoid hogging the conversation - take no more turns at talking than the other person

Audio quote Audio quote: Claire

Adapt the budget