News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Project to Give Half a Million Kiwis Voice

Project to Give Half a Million Kiwis Voice


Up to half a million Kiwis are faced with significantly reduced quality of life because they aren’t given the support to simply communicate, the New Zealand Speech-language Therapists Association says.

The association estimates that one in ten New Zealanders have a communication disorder or communication difficulties.

Despite the high numbers, the NZSTA says this group of Kiwis is largely ignored.

“Communication should be a fundamental human right,” president Helen McLauchlan says.

“But it is never on the agenda. From policy makers to the general public, you would think these disorders didn’t exist. To sufferers these disorders, it feels like no one understands.

“These people are invisible and the results are devastating.”

The lack of awareness and support for people with communication disorders is the focus of the International Communications Project (ICP) being launched at Te Papa this Wednesday (April 9).

The ICP is a global initiative spearheaded internationally by Dr Dean Sutherland, a senior lecturer in speech and language therapy at the University of Canterbury.

The group aims to take the issue to the World Health Organisation in the hope it will recognise the importance of communications disorders when considering health and disability matters.

Communications disorders include anything that affects a person’s ability to communicate. They range from children who have language or speech difficulties to elderly people who have suffered strokes or have dementia.

Ms McLauchlan says her clients face challenges every day because of public ignorance and a lack of awareness.

“There are many examples of people being refused service because people think they’re drunk, despite having information explaining they have a speech problem.

“Children become frustrated and act out in classrooms. You would be surprised at the number of kids who are labelled as naughty and disruptive when actually they have an undiagnosed or untreated communication disorder.

“10 per cent of Kiwi kids have communication disorders, but just the most severe 1 per cent receive any intervention. This has a lifelong impact on the quality of life of these children. Early intervention is the key and it’s just not happening.”

As part of the International Communication Project, a number of events will be taking place throughout New Zealand through the year.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Album Review: Donnie Trumpet And The Social Experiments: Surf

Chance the Rapper is one of my favourite rappers of the last couple years. He bought a uniquely fucked up, acid sound with his debut Acid Rap which has demonstrably influenced others including ILoveMakonnen and A$AP Rocky. It’s remarkable that, at such a ... More>>

Photos: Inside The Christchurch Arts Centre Rebuild

Lady Pippa Blake visited Christchurch Arts Centre chief executive André Lovatt, a 2015 recipient of the Blake Leader Awards. The award celebrated Lovatt’s leadership in New Zealand and hisand dedication to the restoration of the Arts Centre. More>>

Running Them Up The Flagpole: Web Tool Lets Public Determine New Zealand Flag

A School of Design master’s student is challenging the flag selection process by devising a web tool that allows the public to feed their views back in a way, he says, the current government process does not. More>>

ALSO:

Survey: ‘The Arts Make My Life Better’: New Zealanders

New Zealanders are creative people who believe being involved in the arts makes their lives better and their communities stronger. Nine out of ten adult New Zealanders (88%) agree the arts are good for them and eight out of ten (82%) agree that the arts help to improve New Zealand society. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Reprieve For Te Papa Press

Following its review of the role of Te Papa Press, Te Papa has committed to continue publishing books during the museum’s redevelopment, Chief Executive Rick Ellis announced yesterday. More>>

Law Society: Sir Peter Williams QC, 1934 - 2015

“Sir Peter was an exceptional advocate. He had the ability to put the defence case for his clients with powerful oratory. His passion shone through in everything he did and said.” Mr Moore says Sir Peter’s lifelong commitment to prison reform was instrumental in ensuring prison conditions and the rights of prisoners were brought to public attention. More>>

ALSO:

CTU: Peter Conway – Family Statement

Peter committed his whole working life to improving the lives of working people, both in unions and, more recently, as the Economist and Secretary of the Council of Trade Unions. He was previously Chair of Oxfam New Zealand and was on the Board of NZ Trade and Enterprise. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news