One of the biggest divides between disability service providers or organisations and people with a disability and their families, is the language used by professionals.
Goodness, some conferences even have presentations advertised as 'easy english'.
Here are a few things that need to be investigated if we want to make the disability sector vibrant, open and easy to navigate.
- When you don't think something is possible, don't default to no, suggest you are not sure, but will find out and follow up
- Privacy, workplace health & safety and lately NDIS, are unacceptable excuses for not working with or for a clients needs
- Never, ever, use acronyms without explaining what it means, 90% of our clients have no idea. We do not want to look incompetent by saying so, please just dont use them
- When writing letters or emails, remember your clients like short, simple and clear messaging.
A letter written to all the perspective participants going into the NDIS!
And what are they really saying......
" We are sorry, but due to higher demand then expected, the NDIS roll out will take longer. We are sorry for any inconvenience"
Well that's what we THINK they are trying to say. This letter has one sentence with 58 words in it, a little too much to read I believe.
The very scary issue is; if this is the type of communication from the NDIS which believe is acceptable, why should other disability service providers or organisations change their language?
NDIS needs to lead by example and break the cycle of unclear and complex language.
The very best way to create inclusive language is to deliver a message for all types of communication levels, from a school year 9 through to sitting in the pub or other social gathering with your friends.
Bring THAT language into all communications with participants and families of people with a disability.
Great communication can melt away barriers, encourage positive interactions and end in a much more constructive result!