Just because someone can't 'speak' doesn't mean they have nothing to 'say'. People communicate in different ways.

In the community

  • Speak in a normal tone and volume.
  • Be patient. Avoid finishing the person’s sentences.
  • Keep questions clear and simple. A good starting point is to check how the person communicates ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
  • If you haven’t understood what was said ask the person to repeat it or write it down.
  • If possible ask if there is someone who can interpret for you.

In the workplace

  • Make sure the room or space is quiet.
  • Avoid excessive visual distractions.
  • Avoid reading over the person’s shoulder if an electronic communication aid is being used.

Page last updated: Monday, 6 May 2019