Did you know that an estimated 1.2 million Australians live with a communication disability? These limitations affect a person’s ability to understand and be understood by others. As illustrated in this infographic from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), children and older people are likely to live with a communication disability, and can experience greater disadvantages than the rest of the population: 

An infographic profile of people with communication disability in Australia. An accessible PDF version of the infographic can be found in the link above.

Speech Pathology Week (21 – 27 August) promotes the work done by speech pathologists to help people who have a communication disability.  

How can I help? 

Speech Pathology Australia have compiled a list of tips for successful communication. Here are some we thought were particularly useful: 

  • always treat your conversation partner with dignity and respect 
  • to make sure you are understood, check with the person that you have understood them correctly 
  • speak normally; there is no need for you to raise your voice or slow your speech. 

Check out the Speech Pathology Australia communication disability and communication access webpage for the full list of communication tips and to learn more about communication disabilities and the important work done by speech pathologists.  

 Speech pathology at Griffith 

 Along with offering degrees in speech pathology, Griffith University also engages in applied research designed to optimise the communication and swallowing abilities of people across their lifespan, with a range of projects focusing on improving the lives of children and adults. If you or someone you know is living on the Gold Coast and has a communication disability, speech pathology services are available and open to the public from the Gold Coast campus. 

If you would like to delve into publications about speech pathology and communication disabilities, the Griffith Research Online repository contains a wealth of material by Griffith researchers, including: