(Rockville, Maryland, USA – May 1, 2014)
The International Communication Project 2014 (ICP 2014), an initiative involving more than a dozen organizations, entities, and international bodies worldwide, has declared this May a “Month of Action” for bringing attention to communication disorders.
The Project’s founding organizations have organized a range of activities for May, including outreach to Houses of Parliament in England; an advocacy day on Parliament Hill in Canada; outreach in cities and towns across New Zealand; community and parliamentary outreach in Australia; and public events around Ireland. In the United States, a Google Hangout open to public participation will feature private and government experts discussing the importance of early identification and intervention in treating communication disorders.
Visit www.internationalcommunicationproject.com/events/event/icp-2014-month-of-action/ for a Month of Action listing of activities.
Communication disorders are a potential leading cause of increased numbers of physician visits, hospitals stays, and lost school days experienced by children with disabilities and may account for their poor academic performance. Meanwhile, the vast majority of persons with disabilities live in the developing world, where assessment and intervention services are often inadequate.
A half dozen speech and hearing organizations in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United States founded the ICP 2014. Since the Project launch in January, organizations around the world—from Portugal to China—have joined in. A February Google Hangout about the Project drew a digital audience of half a million.
“We encourage others to join us in bringing attention to communication disorders not only during May, but also throughout the year,” an ICP 2014 statement said. “Everyone can play an important role by signing the Universal Declaration of Communication Rights.”
Additionally, the statement thanked those organizations that have joined the ICP 2014 in recent months and encouraged them to conduct awareness-raising activities during the Month of Action.
“We continue to receive strong expressions of interest in the Project from parties around world,” the statement noted. “This shared interest in raising awareness of communication disorders is a very clear sign of the importance and relevance of the ICP 2014. The Project aims to serve as a focal point for international collaboration, and it is very exciting and promising to see that collaboration take place and grow.”