Cornerstone SurgeryCornerstone Surgery Drs Consiglio & SuttonDrs Consiglio & Sutton
Fingerpost Park Health Centre, Atlas St, St. Helens, WA9 1LN
Tel: 01744 738835 / 01744 647040  |  Fax: 01744 454624
Fingerpost Park Health Centre,
Atlas St, St. Helens, WA9 1LN
Tel: 01744 738835 / 01744 647040
Fax: 01744 454624

Identifying your communication needs

Making health care information accessible

The below information contains examples of some of the conditions which may affect your ability to communicate, as well as the different information formats and communication methods that are available as part of the standard.
This information is a guide to help you identify your needs - it does not include every condition or communication need that you may have

The Standard recognises that each persons needs are specific to them. Please contact the surgery to discuss your specific communication needs or if you have any questions or concerns

You have a condition which is likley to affect your ability to communicate

  • Aphasia - A condition that affects the brain and leads to problems using language correctly. People with aphasia find it difficult to choose the correct words and can make mistakes in the words they use. Aphasia affects speaking, writing and reading
  • Autism - The National Autistic Society defines autism as a “lifelong disability that affects how we communicate with, and relate to others. And it effects how we make sense of the world around us. Lots of things that people take for granted like body language and metaphors can be confusing and alienating”
  • Blind - A person who is blind is someone with limited or no functional vision. They are likely to be registered as being severely sight impaired
  • deaf - A person who identifies as being deaf with a lowercase d is indicating that they have a significant hearing impairment. Many deaf people have lost their hearing later in life and as such may be able to speak and / or read English to the same extent as a hearing person
  • Deaf - A person who identifies as being Deaf with an uppercase D is indicating that they are culturally Deaf and belong to the Deaf community. Most Deaf people are sign language users who have been deaf all of their lives. For most Deaf people, English is a second language and as such they may have a limited ability to read, write or speak English
  • Deafblind - A person who is deafblind has both a sight and hearing impairment which causes difficulties with communication, access to information and mobility. Deafblindness can be congenital or acquired and doesn’t necessarily mean that someone can’t hear or see anything
  • Hearing impaired / hard of hearing - These are terms used to refer to people who have an acquired hearing impairment, usually in later life or through injury (e.g. damage caused by noise exposure)
  • Learning disability - People with learning disabilities have life-long development needs and have difficulty with certain cognitive skills, although this varies greatly among different individuals
  • Sight impaired - Someone who is sight impaired is someone who has vision loss. This includes people registered as being partially sighted/li>
  • Stroke or brain injury - People who have had a stroke or brain injury may suffer with a disability or sensory loss that affects their ability to communicate

You need information in a certain format

  • Audio - This could be a recording of someone speaking or synthetic (computer-generated) and stored onto cassette tape, CD (compact disc) or as an electronic file, such as MP3
  • Braille - People who are blind, deafblind or who have some visual loss, use their fingers to ‘read’ or identify raised dots representing letters and numbers
  • Easy Read - Information where straightforward words and phrases are used supported by pictures, diagrams, symbols and / or photographs to aid understanding and to illustrate the text
  • Large print - Printed information is supplied with a simplified layout and a larger font size for people who have some visual loss. Different sizes (and sometimes fonts) are needed by different people
  • Sign language - Communication using hand gestures and signals, as well as body movement and facial expressions. It is commonly used by people who are deaf or have hearing impairments

You need someone to help you communicate

  • Interpreter - These include British Sign Language (BSL), Sign Supported English (SSE), Makaton, Visual frame, Hands on, Block, Deafblind Manual
  • Advocate - A person who supports someone who may otherwise find it difficult to communicate or to express their point of view. Advocates can support people to make choices, ask questions and to say what they think
  • Lipspeaker - A person who repeats the words said without using their voice, so others can read their lips easily. A professional lipspeaker may be used to support someone who is d/Deaf to communicate
  • Notetaker - In the context of accessible information, a notetaker produces a set of notes for people who are able to read English but need communication support, for example because they are d/Deaf. Manual notetakers take handwritten notes and electronic notetakers type a summary of what is being said onto a laptop computer, which can then be read on screen. It is also possible to use braille displays or other assistive technology to enable people to access the information displayed on the screen in other formats
  • Speech to text reporter (STTR) - A STTR types a word for word account of what is being said and the information appears on screen in real time for users to read. This is a type of communication support which may be needed by a person who is d/Deaf and able to read English
  • Translator - A person able to translate the written word into a different signed, spoken or written language. For example a sign language translator is able to translate written documents into sign language

You use a communication tool or aid

  • Communication passport - A document containing important information (usually about a person with learning disabilities), to support staff in meeting those needs. It will include a person’s likes and dislikes, and outlines ways in which they communicate
  • Communication tool/aid - A tool, device or document used to support effective communication with a disabled person. They may be generic or specific / bespoke to an individual. They often use symbols and / or pictures. They range from a simple paper chart to complex computer-aided or electronic devices
  • Hearing loop system - This allows a hearing aid wearer to hear more clearly and free of other background noise
  • Lipreading - A way of understanding or supporting understanding of speech by visually interpreting the lip and facial movements of the speaker. Lipreading is used by some people who are d/Deaf or have some hearing loss and by some deafblind people
  • Voice Output Communication Aid (VOCA): also known as a speech-generating device (SGD). An electronic device used to supplement or replace speech or writing for individuals with severe speech impairments, enabling them to verbally communicate
  • Tadoma - Tadoma involves a person placing their thumb on a speaker’s lips and spreading their remaining fingers along the speaker’s face and neck. Communication is transmitted through jaw movement, vibration and facial expressions of the speaker. A type of communication which may be used by a deafblind person

You need to be contacted in a certain way

  • Letter
  • Telephone
  • Text message
  • Email
  • Text Relay - This enables people with hearing loss or speech impairment to access the telephone network, converting speech to text and vice versa

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Last update 24/11/16