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Authors

  1. Solarsh, Barbara
  2. Johnson, Hilary

Abstract

People with communication support needs experience barriers that limit their social inclusion in society. A community approach such as communication access that targets changing attitudes, skills, and resources may assist in facilitating community participation. The authors describe the development of communication access from 2008 in Victoria, Australia. We present the rationale underpinning the need for communication access and the identification of a communication access symbol. A collaborative partnership between people with communication support needs, speech-language pathologists, and community members established a rigorous approach for devising the communication access standards and supporting checklists. The process for awarding a communication access license includes 4 phases: engagement, preparation, assessment, and review. Currently, 200 customer service points in businesses and organizations have been licensed as communication accessible. Further research is needed to establish replicability and sustainability of the communication access initiative and outcomes for a range of people with communication support needs.