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Identify sources of information, support and services to enable more effective communication


This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2023 as per our Quality Assurance policy.

To enable more effective communication, it may sometimes be necessary to seek advice and support from others. This could be, for example, when you begin working with an individual for the first time, or you need specialist advice that is outside the scope of your role.


In the first instance, you would probably ask for guidance from your manager, co-workers, the individuals you support and their friends and family; however, in some cases, it may be prudent to identify other sources of communication support.

For example, if there is a language barrier, you may need to source an interpreter (for oral communication) or a translator (for written communication). You may also need to utilise the services of a British Sign Language (BSL) or Makaton interpreter. Translator and interpreter services can be found online or referred via the local authority.


You may need to undergo training to improve your communication skills. For example, if you work day-to-day with individuals that communicate using Makaton it would be useful to arrange to go on a Makaton course. This can either be run in-house or using an external agency.

Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) can be utilised to provide communication skills and treatment for individuals with communication difficulties. These can be referred by the NHS, or your organisation may have SLTs on staff.


The Internet is a fantastic source of information, and charities such as MENCAP offer a lot of free advice on communicating with individuals with an intellectual or mental disability. Your local library can also provide a lot of knowledge.

Advocacy services can help individuals that have difficulty speaking up and challenging decisions made about them so that they will have their voices heard. These can be provided by the local authority or paid for privately by the individual.



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