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Talking about communication at Bundaberg Special School

LAC Daniel Ashby presents at BSS.
LAC Daniel Ashby presents at Bundaberg Special School.

Bundaberg Special School hosted IWC's Local Area Coordinators (LACs) and BUSHkids this week for a talk on communication aids for students living with disability. 

In their first two years of life children begin modeling the language of their parents and mentors, comprehending and articulating words as they grow; however for some this process can be a slower, which can lead to challenges in learning and social skills development.

To assist their child, parents often source an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device to enable their child to communicate words and messages. These devices can be used in the home or school environment and are increasingly common in Bundaberg.

There are many options on the market today, including voice amplifiers, button-prompted speech generators and more. These devices come with at varying levels of cost and complexity, so shopping around for the right fit is an important first step. Many parents opt for the PODD (or Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display) communication books as a starting point for developing communication function, whilst others prefer to use text-to-speech software with ability switches from the outset. 

For NDIS participants whose plan includes improved communication as a goal, these devices and tools may be accessed through plan funding. 

NDIS LAC Daniel Ashby (pictured) explained to the visiting parents that the first step was to seek access to the scheme, which can be done by calling the National Disability Insurance Agency on 1800 800 110 and requesting and Access Request form. This form may require formal diagnosis and feedback from relevant health specialists. 

For assistance in understanding the process of applying for NDIS access in the Bundaberg region, IWC's LAC team is available through the week in Bundaberg, Childers and Gin Gin. For applicants under the age 7, BUSHkids offers Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) support, and can refer you to other supports in the community. 

IWC presents regularly at the request of organisations and groups around the Bundaberg region. If your organisation or group is interested in hosting our LACs for a presentation and Q&A session, please contact IWC on 1300 492 492. 





About the author

IWC's major focus is to improve and support Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, and the vulnerable and disadvantaged people across the Bundaberg and Wide Bay / Burnett.

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