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Meet Australia-based SCOPE

“Scope’s CIRC, together with the ICP, is committed to improving awareness, developing capacity, and helping create opportunities for people with communication disabilities to access and participate in community activities through a range of initiatives and projects like communication access.”

Who is Scope?

Scope’s mission to “enable each person we support to live as an empowered and equal citizen” through advocacy, promoting inclusion and influencing government policy related to communication disabilities, is in close alignment with the objectives of the International Communication Project (ICP), which aims to recognise that communication impairments are standalone disabilities that can significantly impact upon every aspect of a persons life.

Scope is a not-for-profit organisation located in Victoria, Australia, that supports more than 6,000 Victorians and their families with physical, intellectual, communication, and multiple disabilities to achieve their goals in life. Scope aims to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities through instigating and acknowledging initiatives that advocate for the inclusion of individuals with communication difficulties in our community, like the ICP.

Scope’s Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre (CIRC)

CIRC comprises a team of staff with extensive experience and knowledge in the fields of disability and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Scope’s CIRC specialises in:

  • Accessible information, including Easy English
  • Education, training, and consultancy in the areas of disability awareness and communication disabilities
  • Manufacturing non-electronic communication aids for children and adults with communication impairments

At the Forefront of the Global ‘Communication Access’ Initiative

‘Communication access’ occurs “when people are respectful and responsive to individuals with communication difficulties, and when strategies and resources are available to support successful communication.” Communication access extends the notion of universal access to include features of interpersonal communication and how aspects of the environment convey information, so that services and products are accessible to everyone in their communities.

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Scope’s CIRC is the founding organisation to develop the Australian Communication Access Symbol®. This registered symbol was launched in 2011 and is awarded to businesses, services, and organisations that demonstrate standards for creating communicatively accessible environments for everyone.

Since its launch in 2011, more than 200 locations in Victoria, Australia, have been awarded the Communication Access Symbol®, including Victoria’s statewide regional rail network, V/Line, Public Transport Victoria (PTV), the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) and more than 30 metropolitan and rural council offices.

The Communication Access Symbol® has also received endorsement from a range of peak bodies, including:

  • Speech Pathology Australia
  • Communication Rights Australia
  • Autism Victoria
  • Department of Human Services, Office of Disability
  • VALID
  • Aphasia Association
  • Better Hearing Australia

 

Infographic showing the importance of communication access

The Communication Access Symbol® initiative directly speaks to many of the ICP goals, specifically through increasing public awareness of communication impairments and through educating the public on the different AAC methods people in our community utilise to get their message across. The Communication Access Symbol® is also working to raise the profile and status of communication disabilities through opening discussions with peak bodies and policy makers.

Joining Together with the International Communication Project

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Scope’s CIRC, together with the ICP, is committed to improving awareness, developing capacity, and helping create opportunities for people with communication disabilities to access and participate in community activities through a range of initiatives and projects like communication access. Scope commends the ICP for joining Scope in the vision of creating a world that is more accessible to people with communication disabilities.