During Speech Pathology Week, from 25-31 August, speech pathologists at Colac Area Health are highlighting the week’s theme: Communicating with Confidence.
An afternoon tea was held on Monday to promote awareness amongst Allied Health clinicians, and there will be further activities held throughout the week.
Speech pathologists study, diagnose and treat communication disability, including difficulties with speech, language, reading and writing, stuttering and voice. They work with people who have communication disability that may:
• emerge during early childhood e.g. speech and language disorders, stuttering, difficulties learning to read and write; or
• arise from premature birth, or may be present from birth e.g. cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, hearing impairments and cleft palate; or
• occur as a result of physical, intellectual or sensory disability or a mental illness; or
• occur during adult years eg traumatic brain injury, stroke, head/neck cancers, neurodegenerative disorders such as motor neurone disease; or
• develop in the elderly eg dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease.
There are 1.2 million Australians with communication disability. Only 38 per cent of Australians with communication disability are participating in the workforce compared with 80 per cent of people without communication disability. People with communication disability are also less likely to have a non-school qualification (42 per cent), than those without communication disability (61 per cent). Speech pathologists (like those at Colac Area Health) work with these people to provide them with the confidence to communicate.
For information about Speech Pathology Week visit www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au/week