Scope awards Communication Access Symbol to Box Hill Police Station

Imagine the frustration of trying to report a crime if you were unable to speak?

In a world first, uniform police officers from Box Hill Police Station have been trained by disability service provider Scope to communicate effectively with people with communication difficulties.

Scope has now awarded the Communication Access Symbol to Box Hill Police Station’s Watch House, making it the first watch house in Australia to receive the nationally-recognised Communication Access Symbol.

The symbol was awarded following the completion of a two year program funded by the National Disability Insurance Agency. Officers participated in training sessions led by people with a communication disability. A Victoria Police Watch House Communication Book was also developed to help people get their message across.

Scope CEO Dr Jennifer Fitzgerald says the aim of the Communication Access program is to make services and businesses fully accessible for everyone, including people with communication difficulties.

“We know 1 in 7 Australians will have a communication difficulty at some stage in their life. The aim of Scope’s Communication Access program is to create a more inclusive society where people with communication difficulties are supported to communicate successfully, getting their message across in a way that works for them,” says Dr Fitzgerald.

“I congratulate Victoria Police for their leadership and commitment to inclusion. This is the first step to ensuring Victorians with a communication disability can access justice and support, at times when they may be the most vulnerable.”

Scope’s Communication Access Assessor John Fox presented Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton with a symbolic Communication Access pin.


John, who has a communication disability, played an integral role in presenting the Communication Access Training.

John was impressed with the officers’ commitment and interest in improving their ability to communicate with people with communication difficulties.

Scope developed the Communication Access Symbol as a means of promoting inclusion and making communication accessible for those who live with a communication disability.

The Communication Access Symbol is a universal symbol awarded to businesses that demonstrate improved access for people with communication difficulties. It has been awarded to more than 200 Victorian businesses and services since 2011, and is live in the states of New South Wales and South Australia.

The training of Box Hill uniform officers was made possible by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Information, Linkages & Capacity Building National Readiness Grant.

Communication Access Services

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