Inclusive communication​ ​overview

Inclusive communication is relevant to everyone and to all forms of communication and should be adopted at individual, organisational and population level. By using inclusive communication SLTs can help to reduce inequality and social isolation and make sure services meet human rights, legal, policy and requirements.

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What is inclusive communication?

Inclusive communication is an approach to communication which enables as many people as possible to be included in that interaction.

This approach:

  • Recognises that all human beings use many ways of understanding and expressing themselves.
  • Encourages, supports and enables people to use whatever ways of understanding and expressing themselves which they find easiest.

It does not relate only to a specific activity for a particular group. It is an overarching approach which is relevant to:

  • Everyone and in all situations, not just people with communication support needs.
  • All communication at individual, organisation and population levels.
  • All modes of communication – face-to-face, telephone, written, online.

Related pages

Why adopt inclusive communication?

There are human rights, legal, economic and policy reasons for adopting this approach. It is vital to equality of access to services, person-centered care and increased participation and social interaction.

For more information see our position paper on inclusive communication (PDF).

Role of SLTs as specialists inclusive communication

SLTs are specialists in identifying and working with individuals with communication difficulties, enabling those individuals to communicate effectively and advising and supporting others to do the same.

With this expert knowledge, they are key players in promoting communication inclusion, both at an individual level and at wider organisational or population levels.

SLTs have a leadership role to play in supporting the implementation of inclusive communication through increasing the awareness, skills and knowledge of others in the public, private and third sectors.

This can be done through training, and the involvement of SLTs in discussions of policy and organisational development.

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