CAs Officer quoteWhen a business signs up to get the Communication Access Symbol, the business may need some help from a speech pathologist to get them ready for their assessment by the Communication Access Team (CAT).

In Victoria, a business may request input from a Regional Communication Service to help them become communication accessible. A speech pathologist from the RCS, known as a Communication Access Officer, will work directly with a business to develop customised communication tools, resources and staff training so that the business feels empowered, positive and excited about their communication access assessment.

The Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre can also provide some of this support to statewide services and organisations.

Mel Newcomen is a Regional Communication Service Speech Pathologist in the East Gippsland Region.

In my role as a speech pathologist within the Gippsland Regional Communication Service, I build the capacity of the community to enable all people to participate and belong.

 Part of my role is dedicated to supporting businesses to increase their communication accessibility and achieve communication access.

 I build the capacity of staff to create an inclusive environment for their customers. This may include communication training, supporting the development of visual communication aids, signage and product display and/or easier to read written information.

 As well as providing face to face information and support, I have also been able to use technology via eLearning Modules to reach service staff when face to face interaction is not possible. This has been an innovative development, supporting different learning styles and options for sustainability of communication strategies, as the eLearning Module can be included in staff induction.

The Communication Access Symbol is exciting to me as it encapsulates what it means for a place to create an environment that supports all people to participate and belong in our community.

 To speak to a member of the Communication Access Team about your business or interest in communication access, contact circ@scopeaust.org.au