Federazione Logopedisti Italiani (FLI) is the national professional association of the Italian Speech and Language Therapists. One of its statutory objectives is the diffusion of knowledge and information on speech, language, communication and swallowing and their disorders. Its main campaign is the European Day of Speech and Language Therapy, celebrated on the 6 March, every year on a different topic, all over Europe.
The European Day of Speech and Language Therapy was created in 2004 by the Comitè Permanent de Liaison des Orthophonistes – Logopédes de la Union Européenne (CPLOL), the Standing Liaison Committee of the European Speech and Language Therapists, in order to increase awareness about the speech and language therapists (SLT) profession, the communication disorders and their prevention.
The target groups are clients and their care-givers, other health professionals, politicians and authorities, policy makers, journalists, colleagues. The activities are of different types, depending on the target audience. They could be conferences, Open Days, creation and diffusion of informative materials, media campaigns, workshops, free telephone lines.
This is an overview on the themes of past years:
- 2018: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
- 2017: Dysphagia
- 2016: Dyspraxia
- 2015: Acquired Neurological Communication Disorders
- 2014: Multilingualism
The European Day of Speech and Language Therapy gets terrific engagement in Italy and now is an expected date in the calendar for all the SLT community. The advantages of such a day are multiple. It is an occasion to raise awareness of the association and attract new contacts for the advocacy activities and also new members. The association became a strong reference point for the general public as regards communication and swallowing and their possible difficulties. The visits to our website are multiplied around 6 March. The European Day is an occasion of meeting and sharing with other health professions too.
The European Day of Speech and Language Therapy gets terrific engagement in Italy and now is an expected date in the calendar for all the SLT community.
One of the reasons of the success of the European Day is its international foundation. It is important to us to know that SLTs throughout Europe have a common goal and that we are working together to make a dynamic impact on promoting health and well-being in children and adults with communication and swallowing disorders.
The 2019 theme is Autism. FLI is preparing a national poster, a slogan and a press release, partially based on the CPLOL materials and partially based on national features. The regional groups, thanks to hundreds of volunteers, are organising events and preparing informative materials that will be distributed to citizens and made available on the internet. Contacts are being taken with magazines and TV and radio shows. The preparation begins some months before the 6 of March and the actions are usually spread all over the month in order to keep the attention alert on the theme.
And then, what about a World Day of Speech and Language Therapy? It would be a great success!
Virginia Di Marco
Federazione Logopedisti Italiani