Principles of Inclusive Communication: An information and self-assessment tool for public authorities

Information and self-assessment tool for public authorities.

Definition of communication support needs

People have communication support needs if they need support with understanding, expressing themselves or interacting with others.

To meet their needs you have to be flexible in how you communicate and the methods that you use, for example by having information in audio instead of written form.

You will also need to give people the chance to express themselves in a way which suits them, for example by using pictures instead of speaking.

It may not always be obvious at first that somebody has a communication support need. However, if information is not accessible, a person may:

  • Avoid services completely
  • Not turn up for an appointment
  • Respond to only some of advice given even after saying or nodding they understand
  • Ask a lot of repeated questions
  • Give irrelevant, unclear or rambling responses to questions
  • Behave in a way which can present challenges to service providers. For example, a person with communication support needs might only see certain staff, or appear inflexible, unpredictable or unreliable
  • Seem bored or have difficulty paying attention
  • Express strong emotions that might appear to be inappropriate to the situation, such as anger, frustration, embarrassment, or anxiety
  • Have difficulty describing feelings, events or needs in words that make sense

Back to top