There are many reasons why some people have difficulty communicating. It can arise from a brain injury, a stroke, or a condition such as motor neurone disease. Inability to communicate easily means that often people avoid social situations due to feeling inferior. The Conversation has an article on inclusive communication strategies.
The Conversation article, We can all help to improve communication for people with disabilities, lists some of the simple things that remove the barriers to communication. They range from the type of devices used by Stephen Hawking, to just giving the person time to finish what they are trying to say. Speech is just one aspect of the issue, hearing is the other. There is useful information under each of the headings in the article:
- Remove communication barriers
- Prepare for communication success
- Build a conversation together
- Use communication aids and alternative strategies when you talk.
Around 5% of the population, or 1.2 million Australians have a communication disability. It can affect their speech, language, listening, understanding, reading, writing, or social skills.
Communication disability can be lifelong (as for people with cerebral palsy or intellectual disability) or acquired (as for people with stroke and aphasia, motor neurone disease, or traumatic brain injury).