One of our core areas of business is communication. Why? Because a large number of us at Speaking Space Ltd are speech and language therapists (including our managing director, Alex Kelly) so we are naturally particularly interested in the area of communication.
But also… have you ever thought where we would be without the ability to communicate? If we couldn’t tell someone what we wanted or how we felt? If we couldn’t understand what people were saying to us or what they expected of us? If we couldn’t make friends or socialise? And if that was the case, what would we want or expect from the people around us in our lives? Would we want them to listen to and understand us? Would we want them to make adjustments?
Our vision statement says:
We all have the right to speak and to be heard because without this, our quality of life suffers. So, at Speaking Space we understand how important it is to develop someone’s communication. To help someone to be listened to and understood. To help someone to express thoughts and feelings. To have an effect on their surroundings and on their lives. To be valued. So communication is central to what we do.
Our speech and language therapy service
Our speech and language therapists work with both children and adults who have communication needs. They will assess someone’s speech, language and social communication needs and will then develop programmes to help improve and develop skills. Please go to our page on speech and language therapy for more information on this.
You may also like to download our fact sheet on what the research tells us about children who have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and why it is so important to get help.
Our day service at Speaking Space
We also use a Total Communication approach in our day service. We spend most of our working days trying to make communication work for the
people we support. We use practical strategies to make a difference to their learning, their independence and their ability to fulfil their full potential.
And we provide training in all of these areas as we want to share these ideas with others. Because if you get the communication right, so much more will follow. Please also see our pages on the day service and on training.
Our lead for communication in the day service is Pete Kelly.
What do we mean by Total Communication?
Total communication means that we use all forms of communication at Speaking Space. If you visit us, you will immediately see that our environment is set up to support to support people by using different kinds of communication. In addition to clear verbal communication you will also see us using lots of visuals and Makaton signs.
Visuals. We use photographs, symbols (both Makaton and PCS) and drawings both around the building, but also with individuals, and in sessions and activities. This helps people understand their environment, what is happening, and what is expected of them. It also helps them express themselves and tell us how they are feeling.
Signing. We all use Makaton sign language and try to ensure that we are a consistent signing environment. This helps people to understand what we are saying but also encourages them to express themselves through sign, if they need to.
Romsey: A Makaton Friendly Town
In 2018 we helped Romsey (our local town) to become the first Makaton friendly town in the UK! This meant that we supported 31 organisations across the town to learn Makaton so that they can support people in their shops.
We have a dedicated page for our Makaton scheme here
Here is a video we made to explain what happened!