RHN Helps Local Businesses Give Voice to People with Communication Difficulties

TfL, wagamama and other local businesses in attendance at the awareness raising event

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A national medical charity providing assessment, rehabilitation treatment and care for adults with profound and complex disabilities caused by disease or damage to the brain or other parts of the nervous system.


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Transport for London and wagamama joined other London businesses at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability (RHN) this week, Thursday 10 October, to learn how they can make themselves more accessible for people living with communications difficulties.

The Speech and Language Therapy team at the RHN invited a broad range of local businesses - including restaurants, pubs and shops - to meet other charities and learn about the often very simple and low-cost solutions to communication barriers, which can often prevent people living with speech and language difficulties from taking part in everyday life.

Attendees heard stories of former RHN patients Jaxx Cave and Stuart Newman and their experience facing communication barriers in the community. Representatives from Communication Matters, Speakability and Headway South West London also spoke of simple ways for businesses to become more communication accessible.

Sarah Haynes, Head of Speech and Language Therapy at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, said:
“People with communication difficulties want to be independent and access the community so it was great to see businesses taking communication accessibility seriously. We are now exploring ways to expand on the success of our Giving Voice event to reach even more organisations and improve the situation for people living with communication disabilities.”

20% of the population will at some point in their lives experience communication difficulties which are often caused by brain injury, stroke or disease. These difficulties can manifest in a number of different ways and can affect someone’s ability to understand speech, process language or form the words and sentences they require.

After the event a wagamama spokesperson said:
“we are in the process of ensuring that our restaurants have steps in place to meet the needs of customers with communication difficulties.”

October 11, 2013