Learning outcome 1. Be able to address the range of communication requirements in own role Assessment criteria
The learner can:
1.1 Review the range of groups and individuals whose communication needs must be addressed in own job role
Individuals who have communication problems need support to enable them to express themselves effectively. It is therefore important for you, in your managerial role, to be aware of the individuals preferred method of communication and also to support the individual to use their preferred method. Individuals have the right to communicate through their chosen method and their choice should be acknowledged and respected by supporting them. The individual’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.
Depending on the area of care in which you work you may be dealing with a certain group of people with similar communication needs, for example: learning disabilities, dementia, deaf, blind, stroke etc. Below are sample groups/individuals and the type of communication needs they may require:
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 (someone who has no hearing at all), 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 effective. Much like hearing loss, sight loss can occur before birth (congenital) or after birth. Individuals who lose their sight after birth may experience different difficulties in communication to those who were born without sight. Losing your sight at a later stage in life can create acceptance difficulties and the need to learn a new method of communication.
Up to 90 per cent of individuals with a learning disability have some form of specific communication need. Many individuals with a learning disability have no identified cause of their communication difficulty. Individuals with learning disabilities can be affected mildly, moderately or severely. Four out of five individuals with severe learning disabilities have no effective verbal speech.
Down’s syndrome is a chromosomal disorder where the foetus is developed with an extra chromosome at pair 21. Approximately 75 per cent of individuals with Down’s syndrome have difficulties with their hearing. Combine this with a learning disability and these individuals have an increased difficulty in communication. Individuals with Down’s syndrome can have difficulty in forming...