Inclusive Communication

Inclusive Communication

Inclusive communication means sharing information in a way that more people can understand.

For service providers, it means making sure that you recognise when people understand and express themselves in different ways.

For people who use services, it means getting information and expressing themselves in ways that meet their needs.

It is important for us all to understand that each individual with a speech, language or communication need may have a different way of communicating and understanding, but they still require their needs to be met. There are many organisations supporting specific needs and have specialist knowledge in their areas of focus. We cannot apply a ’one size fits all’ approach if we are to include everyone. We must be aware that we may not be able to fulfil everyone’s needs all of the time but to be mindful that we aim to establish what these needs are and do our best to make sure that we identify what we can do and what resources and assistance there is that we might draw upon.

The best way to establish whether someone is understanding the information you give them is to ask them, and to find out if they would find it easier to understand if you communicated in a different way (for example, by sign language or symbols).

In 2011, the Scottish Government published their report Principles of Inclusive Communication: An information and self-assessment tool for public authorities, which provides useful insight for all professionals.

The national Inclusive Communication Hub, a Scottish Government initiative, provides many resources to develop and promote inclusive communication practices.