1.1 Explain the importance of meeting an individual’s communication needs. Service users who have communication problems need support to enable them to express themselves effectively. It is therefore important for the carer to be aware of the individuals preferred method of communication and also to support the individual to use their preferred method. Service users have the right to communicate through their chosen method and their choice should be acknowledged and respected by supporting them. The Service user’s right are particularly important when using specific communication methods and language because it’s their major way of communicating their needs and preferences. 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 individuals have the right to ‘freedom of expression’. If unable to communicate they would be denied these rights.
1.2 Explain how own role and practice can impact on communication with an individual who has specific communication needs. As a carer it is my role and responsibility to support individuals to express themselves. The way in which I can do this is by assessing their needs, access information regarding their communication needs, providing the appropriate support, aids or equipment, encouraging and motivating communication, working with others and by monitoring the effectiveness of that support. Without the appropriate support the service user would be unable to express their needs or how they are feeling which can lead to both emotional and physical difficulties. By fully supporting individuals with specific communication needs I am supporting their rights.
1.3 Analyse features of the environment that may help or hinder communication. It is difficult and frustrating to communicate effectively when there is background noise, therefore arranging the environment to aid communication is very important step to achieving effective communication with individuals. I should arrange the individual’s environment to facilitate effective communication and promote understanding. This can be done by ensuring privacy and going into a quiet room. Some factors that can hinder good communication are:
Poor lighting, individuals with poor sight are unable to see you •
Background noise from the TV, radio, other individuals
Obstacles between you as a care worker and the service user e.g. furniture •
Insufficient distance between myself and the individual, leading to encroaching on their personal space.
1.4 Analyse reasons why an individual may use a form of communication that is not based on a formal language system
Disabilities which affect an individual’s senses, and in turn affect communication, include hearing loss and sight loss. These are the two main senses on which humans rely to interact with their environment. Without sight or hearing (or indeed both) communication will be affected and alternative methods will need to be used.
The term ‘hearing loss’ can mean someone who is profoundly deaf, as well as individuals who are hard of hearing (someone who can hear but has difficulty). Individuals with pre-lingual deafness (born deaf) will have usually learnt sign language in order to communicate. However, individuals with post-lingual deafness normally only have verbal speech as a means of communication. It is for this reason they will need support in order to communicate effectively.
Sight plays an important role in communication. More than 90 per cent of what we communicate is through non-verbal communication. This is communicated through our body language – how we stand, our facial expressions, movements we make with our hands. If what we communicate is less than 10 per cent verbal, then an individual without sight will miss out on a huge amount of information needed to make the communication...
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