The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists has joined an international coalition calling for worldwide decision-makers to recognise communication as a basic human right.
The professional body for speech therapy in UK and Ireland has teamed up with its fellow speech, language and hearing organisations to launch the International Communication Project 2014 (ICP 2014).
ICP2014 aims to raise awareness of the vital importance of communication and the critical difference that communication professionals can make. It also aims to build speech and language therapy capacity in countries where it is sparse.
The campaign's Universal Declaration of Communication Rights is a petition that outlines the devastating effects of communication disorders and pledges public support for the millions of people worldwide who experience them.
Through a range of activities and events, ICP 2014 will work to raise the profile and status of communication disorders and disability with international health bodies and policy makers.
In a joint statement, the founding ICP countries emphasised that they are committed to having ICP2014 cast a light on the importance of communication health to quality of life. They are also encouraging countries from across the globe to participate in the project.
Spokespersons for each organisation will participate in a Google Hangout on Thursday 20 February that will mark the public launch of the ICP2014. To watch, or for more information, visit: http://www.communication2014.com/events/event/icp-2014-google-hangout-event/
Facts and figures on communication disorders
- In the United Kingdom, speech, language, and communication needs are the most common type of need among students in the English special educational system in state-funded primary schools.
- Some 40 million people in the United States are estimated to have communication disorders.
- Nearly one third of employed people in Canada who have hearing difficulties report that their conditions limit the amount and/or kind of work that they can perform.
- More than 1.1 million Australians have difficulty communicating.
- An estimated 10 percent of New Zealanders have a communication disorder.
- Up to 20 percent of the Irish population may experience speech, language and communication difficulties at some stage in their lives.