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Share Your Vision of an Inclusive Communication World

“Since the beginning of 2016, more than 170 organisations have agreed, “With the right strategy, Scotland could become the first Inclusive Communication Nation.”

Kim Hartley Kean, Head of Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

From 25-27 October 2016, Edinburgh, Scotland, played host to the “Creating a More Inclusive World” Rehabilitation International (RI) Congress.

Organised by the Shaw Trust, the RI Congress attracted more than 1,000 delegates from around the world. The congress was addressed by Anne, Princess Royal, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Ministers from the UK, China, Germany and India; and representatives from the World Federation of Deaf People, World Health Organization, United Nations, World Bank, International Labour Organization, and the Counsel of Europe. Parallel sessions covered “Education, Training, and Employment,” “Independent Living and Social Care,” “Inclusion,” and “Disaster Management, Leisure, Sports and the Arts.”

Kim Hartley Kean, Head of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT), Scotland office, attended with speech and language therapy consultant Amanda Bennett to learn, network, and gather support for ‘Inclusive Communication Nation’ (or World). Delegates were filmed answering two questions:

  1. What would an Inclusive Communication Nation feel like?
  2. How would an Inclusive Nation be different from now?

The visions they gathered from leaders about inclusion were tweeted from @rcsltscot using #ICScotland.

Excitement Surrounding an Inclusive Communication World

The concept of an Inclusive Communication World appears to have generated great excitement, interest, and enthusiasm at the RI Congress, producing hundreds of tweets of support and a long list of organisations to follow up with including Barclays Bank, the Council of Europe, and the World Health Organisation.

The RCSLT’s work at the RI Congress continues activity the Scottish Government and partners have been doing in Scotland since 2008. People with diverse communication support needs, speech and language therapists, and third sector partners have co-produced government-funded projects such as Civic Participation Network Projects and Inclusive Communication in Scotland – Principles and Guidelines.

Despite ongoing investment by government and high policy profile, inclusive communication is a cross-cutting theme in the Scottish Government’s response to the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disability. People with communication support needs see little improvement in the real world.

Accelerating Progress

In order to constructively accelerate progress towards making Scotland an Inclusive Communication Nation, campaigners co-produced a paper with people with communication support needs, which defines Inclusive Communication; provides a broad definition of an Inclusive Communication Nation; sets out the social, economic, and legal case for; identifies six assets which co-authors believe need to be in place to create an Inclusive Communication Nation; assesses where Scotland had got to in securing these assets; and sets out the co-authors ideas for action.

Since the beginning of 2016, more than 170 organisations have agreed, “With the right strategy, Scotland could become the first Inclusive Communication Nation.” These organisations supported the call for a debate to generate the right strategy.

The co-authors have decided to energise, motivate, and engage wider ownership and awareness of their goal. They decided they want to build an Inclusive Communication Movement.

Initiating the “Inclusive Communication Nation Visioning” Project

The RI Congress was the context for starting the “Inclusive Communication Nation Visioning” project, which aims to energise an Inclusive Communication Movement by inspiring and engaging as many people as possible – as easily and quickly as possible.

Captured “Visions” will be used to build a bigger Inclusive Communication Movement, as well as to clarify and define a destination for an Inclusive Communication Nation.

Join the Inclusive Movement

You can join the Inclusive Communication Movement! Tell us what would an Inclusive Communication World feel like to you? And how would it be different from now? Send your film, photos, or written communication through any of these channels:

For a full version of the infographic, click here.