Communication with persons with intellectual disability – Five standards

To read on Royal College of Speech Language Therapists website:

Note: In the UK, the term of ‘Learning disability’ is used instead of ‘Intellectual disability’.

Communication standards

Five good communication standards

Reasonable adjustments to communication that individuals with learning disability and/or autism should expect in specialist hospital and residential settings

Good communication underpins all these outcomes. Most people with learning disabilities have some speech, language and communication difficulties. These can be hidden or overlooked. Everyone needs to know what good communication support ‘looks like’ and what reasonable adjustments they can expect.

Failure to make reasonable adjustments to meet communication needs will mean people with learning disabilities will continue to be vulnerable to a range of risks. These risks include the continuing failure to design, commission and provide best practice services, alongside continuing health inequalities faced by individuals, in contravention of legal responsibilities.

To help providers of specialist hospital and residential services, the RCSLT recommends five good practice standards around speech, language and communication.

The five good communication standards: 

  • Standard 1: There is a detailed description of how best to communicate with individuals.
  • Standard 2: Services demonstrate how they support individuals with communication needs to be involved with decisions about their care and their services.
  • Standard 3: Staff value and use competently the best approaches to communication with each individual they support.
  • Standard 4: Services create opportunities, relationships and environments that make individuals want to communicate.
  • Standard 5: Individuals are supported to understand and express their needs in relation to their health and wellbeing.

 Read the document Five good communication standards

 Read the January 2014 Bulletin article on Five good communication standards by Della Money

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