- Technology has changed the landscape for communication. We now have access to a range of platforms, that can be used to support effective communication
- When access to technology is required to support communication, it becomes a duty of care issue
- Technology can be time-saving, cost-effective and care-enhancing
- Technology has the potential to bring new and innovative transformation to services
The impact of technology on speech and language therapy is transforming how we provide services and how service users access those services. Technology can be time-saving, cost-effective and care-enhancing.
Technology has also changed the landscape of communication. It has expanded the nature of how we communicate. Speech and Language Therapists should consider how technology can be used to reduce the impact of communication disability. The Equality Act (2010), Mental Capacity Act (2005) and the UN Convention of Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2010) all protect individual rights to effective communication. When access to technology is required to support communication it becomes a duty of care issue.
Technology has the potential to bring new and innovative transformation to services.
Speech and Language Therapists should be proactive in understanding the opportunities and challenging the barriers to integrating technology into their service.
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Effective integration of technology will require collaboration with a range of stakeholders:
- Information Technology
- Infection Control
- Information Governance
- Fund holders
- S/LT’s and service users
Each stakeholder will be have a different standpoint on technology. Everyone’s points and concerns need to be considered and addressed for effective implementation.
The following sources of evidence may be helpful in presenting Speech and Language requirements of technology to the different stakeholders:
- 90% of UK households had internet access.
- 73% of adults access the internet “on the go” using mobile devices.
- 9 out of 10 adults in the UK use the internet weekly.
National Legislation and Guidance
Communication rights are addressed in the:
- Mental Capacity Act (2005)
- Equality Act (2010)
- UN Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006).
Together they cover the responsibility of society to overcome disabling barriers and promote individual autonomy, effective participation and inclusion. This is achieved through accessible design of products, environments and services. It includes using the diverse communicative environment provided by technology, to ensure all means possible are used to support understanding and expression.
Legislation that promotes the use and development of technology includes:
- NHS Five Year Forward Plan (2014)
- Personalised Health and Care (2020)
- eHealth and Care strategy for Northern Ireland (2015)
- Information and Technology for Better Care (2015)
- NHS Scotland: A Route map to the 2020 vision for health and social care
- Digital Maturity Self Assessment Procedure (2015)
- Digital Road Maps (2015).
Our local influencing pages provide resources that will help you demonstrate to your local stakeholders how you:
- Deliver their objectives
- Improve outcomes for them
- Improve outcomes for people who benefit from speech and language therapy
- Leadership resources
- Measuring outcomes
- Evidence-based practice
Further resources to support influencing can be found on the following pages.
Campaigning to Raise Awareness
- The RCSLT’s Giving Voice pages provide tips for demonstrating how speech and language therapy makes a difference to individuals and the broader society across the UK.
- RCSLT Technology Study Day contains information and case studies from S/LT’s use of technology.
- CIT CEN – the Computers in Therapy CEN have produced a comprehensive tool kit which includes; summaries of relevant legislation, advice on overcoming barriers and example forms for requesting funding.