Text only

Communication Forum Scotland

You are here: Communication Forum Scotland | Talk for Scotland toolkit | Communication Support Principles

Communication Support PrinciplesCommunication Support Principles

In order to engage effectively with people who have communication support needs, we have identified 6 Communication Support Principles to be followed.

The principles have been developed through consultation with:

  • individuals with a range of communication support needs
  • the Inclusive Communication Network (a group of speech and language therapists in Scotland)
  • other specialists in communication access.

Each principle is accompanied by practical advice to help you put them into practice. 

You don't have to be a communication expert.

Remember - small actions can make all the difference!

? Ask yourself

Every time you are planning an activity, simply ask yourself:

"If I had difficulty understanding, what would help? What would not help?"

If I had difficulty expressing myself, what would help? What would not help?"

There are some specific examples of techniques you can use.  These techniques may not be suitable for everyone.  It will depend upon the type of communication support need an individual has.

B S L summary of the 6 Communication Support Principles

Direct download of the BSL version of the 6 Communication Support Principles (mp4 format)


6 Communication Support Principles

Click on each Principle for practical advice to help put this Principle into practice.  Go to the Public engagement activities section for more details

Principle 1

Principle 1: Recognise that every community or group may include people with communication support needs.


Principle 2

Principle 2: Find out what support is required.


Principle 3

Principle 3: Match the way you communicate to the ways people understand.


Principle 4

Principle 4: Respond sensitively to all the ways an individual uses to express themselves.


Principle 5

Principle 5: Give people the opportunity to communicate to the best of their abilities.


Principle 6

Principle 6: Keep trying.

Section summary

Word document
Communication Support Principles (MS Word)

PDF document
Communication Support Principles (Adobe PDF)