Annotated Bibliography Assessment
Hartley Kean, K. (2016). Realising the vision of communication inclusion. Tizard Learning Disability Review, 21(1), pp.24-29.
Bibliographic Database, Emerald Insight on effective communication and learning disabilities.
Chose a relevant source related to the subject.
Kim Hartley Keen, who is Scotland’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs is based at the Royal College of Speech, Edinburgh. The purpose of her article is to provide commentary on a research paper by Dr Clare Mander, clinical lead in accessible information and to consider the field of accessible information, communication practice and communication inclusivity.
Keen (2016), examines Dr Mander research on, “How accessible information resources are used in the context of multi-modal communication or events”, and effective communication practice with a focus on the creation of inclusive communication services.
Legislation such as the 2007 United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities or The Equality Act 2010, ensures that services must treat everyone fairly and allow them to have choice within their lives and be able to voice their needs, however the article questions how a service can prove itself to be person-centred, if they are not communicating with their service users in their preferred form of communication or they cannot understand the services that are available to them? Keen believes a solution is communication strength profiling, where communication needs for a certain disability are discussed with those with the condition, in the hope of finding the best type of communication for them and their preferred way of receiving it.
The article claims breaking barriers to communication is fundamentally important to ensuring those with disabilities have equality and recognition for their needs, and they should be able to communicate this independently. To evidence the need for inclusive communication, Keen mentions a review commissioned by the Scottish Government to investigate the experience of service users with communication needs regarding communication, which encourages further reading.
The writer discusses and expansive definition to the approach of inclusive communication and how it gives those with comprehensive language needs a way to communicate regardless of the situation and acknowledges that this would require an overhaul in most organisations and a change of legislation.
Keen, recognises that breaking barriers to achieve communication inclusivity would require collaboration and coalition, planning, and commitment. These recognitions are in line with the Scottish Governments three step Improvement Framework for Scotland’s Public Services 2013. To build on this Framework, Keen has co-authored a research essay describing the benefits of Scotland being an ‘Inclusive Communication Nation’ and calls for a deliberation to develop realistic approaches in achieving this. The essay is being used to propagate a guiding coalition and it is being endorsed by many disability stakeholder organisations, offering advice on where Scotland is in relation to communication now and where it needs to me to become the inclusive nation Keen envisages.
This article is aimed at practitioners to encourage them to reflect on their practice when communicating with the disabled community, to consider their communication attitude, knowledge and skills that they bring to interactions with service users and for organisation to consider creating a ‘inclusive communication nation’ for communities so they may be access information as easily as the general population.
Law, J., van der Gaag, A., Hardcastle, B., Beck, J., MacGregor, A., &, Plunkett, C. (2007). Communication Support Needs: A Review of the Literature. Scottish Executive Social Research. Edinburgh.
Mander, C. (2016). An investigation of the delivery of health-related accessible information for adults with learning disabilities. Tizard Learning Disability Review, 21(1), pp.15-23.
The Scottish Government. (2013). The three-step improvement framework for Scotland’s public services. The Scottish Government. Edinburgh. Retrieved from https://beta.gov.scot/publications/three-step-improvement-framework-scotlands-public-services/
Webb, J. Williams, J. Dowling, S., ;, Gall, M. (2018). Good conversation with people with dementia. Retrieved from Social Care Online http://www.bristol.ac.uk/media-library/sites/sps/images/gettingthingschanged/policy-briefings/Policy%20Briefing%20-%20Dementia_web%20(1).pdf
Social Care Online Database on communication and dementia.
Selected and article relevant to the subject.
This article was written as part of a research grant on, “Tackling Disabling practice: co-production and change,” was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and written by Webb, Williams, Dowling and Gall (2018) of the University of Bristol.
The research by Webb et al, analyses how interactions with those with dementia occur, how successful they are and what practitioners could do to help make communication easier and equal. The article discusses the teams research, what its purpose is and who participated. It is stated that approximately 850,000 in the UK have dementia and as many are living with fear, stigma and discrimination, the Government hope to try and change to public perception of dementia and have given a greater commitment to the research needed for this living with the condition. The research was co-produced by both Webb et al, and a dementia group called the “Forget Me Nots.”
Adopting a Conversational Analysis Approach, Webb et al, used recording equipment to study the social interaction between the Forget Me Not members, especially the verbal and non-verbal interactions, body language and favoured communication methods. The results of the video were reviewed by the Forget Me Not members, to discuss the results and find solutions to any problems that arose, ensuring that they could feel like an equal partner in the communications. Based on the members knowledge, understanding and perceptions, a training video was produced to assist organisations with training their practitioners in communication while working with service users with dementia. The research group also reviewed the video looking at some of the finer points of communication in practice and how this affects both those with dementia and the practitioners. Webb et al, consider the implications and gave suggestions on how the healthcare, social care and third sector could make changes. It is suggested that the Department of Health and Social Care ensure that service users with dementia received care from their diagnosis, ensuring that they have a personal form of support in which interactions are of equal value and are tailored to meet their communication needs. The writers propose that local authorities and health trusts, provide local dementia groups where they can go to express their opinions on services within these sectors as services and practitioners need to do more to meet the 2nd principle of the Mental Capacity Act, which is support in decision making. Lastly, Webb et al, advise that service providers would be able to train staff in effective communication skills by using service user led training materials like the Forget Me Not video.
While these suggestions are admirable, logical and fully embrace equality and fairness, the writers give no indication in the article how they expect these to be undertaken. It appears the writer may expect the Government to finance the changes, or what the consequences to the areas the money is taken from might be.
The key findings in the article are clear. It appears that none of the Forget Me Not members receive the personal support the writers suggest but do attend activities with staff skilled in communicating with service users suffering from dementia. Its stated that those with dementia effectively communicate when in a relaxed setting, where conversation is equal, however ordinary social interaction does not work for everyone. It was found that practitioners realise that many people with dementia reminisce about the past and to have enjoyable communication, it is best to prompt them rather that cause confusion by quizzing them.
This article is aimed at service providers and practitioners. While the article is thought-provoking and logical, it is very short in length and offers no solutions, and therefore may have benefited the reader by expanding on answers to the key findings.
Lewer, A., ;, Harding, C. (2013). Communication is the key: Improving outcomes for people with learning disabilities. Tizard Learning Disability Review, 18(3), 132-140. https://doi.org.10.1108/TLDR-01-2013-0001
Bibliographic database, Emerald Insight, using the key words effective communication and learning disabilities
A relevant source related to the subject chosen.
Harding and Lewer are both professionals working in the communication and speech and language field. They both have a passion for empowering those with learning disabilities and have researched and published several academic papers on the subject.
The purpose of this article is to introduce the ‘Open Communication Tool,’ a model of intervention which could be used in interprofessional practice to aid positive communication with those who have learning disabilities, particularly those who manage day and residential centres to work successfully with other sectors.
Harding and Lewer (2018), provide a recap on the barriers to achieving successful communication with those with learning disabilities that must be supported by Speech and Language Therapists. It was noted that to achieve good, quality communication there are additional challenges. The writers use evidence from external sources to emphasise that barriers such as job role confusion, societal norms and values and preconceived notions are some of the barriers that Speech and Language Therapists face. Harding and Lewer further explain other frequent barriers to communications including differing leadership styles, changes in culture, early intervention and concise policies and procedures would reduce effectiveness of intervention.
Effective communication is important, as often those with learning difficulties do not have person-centred care and their needs are not met. Government reports on the subject have highlighted inequalities and abuse and it is brought to the reader’s attention that service users feel that more strategies need put in place to prevent adult protection issues. It is suggested that an Augmentive and Alternative may be the solution, although is not often used as many people are sceptical of the how it works and the benefits. It is an interactive, inclusive approach that includes support or replacement of a person’s communication, such as Makaton, visual aids, or Voice Output Communication Aids. While this is a cost-effective method, the benefits are slow to be seen, affecting the service user’s quality of life.
Lewer and Harding have published another paper on communication and this referenced within the article to emphasise successful interventions to communication barriers that were recommended by applying a “qualitive research approach.” This acknowledgement leads to another approach by Glaser and Strauss 1967, of data gathered and used to create a tool to assist in the process of indirect intervention and the finding of whether they were able to break communication barriers is in the article. A flow chart is used to quickly explain the implementation of an “Open Communication Tool,” considering any barriers that are known from the study and uses posed questions to move to the next stage. This tool is used by Speech and Language Therapist; however, it could be adapted to other professions where communication is fundamental.
The authors use visual diagrams, boxed areas and case studies throughout the article for easy perusal, quick digestion of information, and reflective thinking. However, elaboration of the information is after each diagram for those interested in in-depth reading. This is effective to break the monotony of the writing and enabled the reader to apply the theories to realistic situations. The writers indicate that every sector considers barriers to communication in the same way, therefore a standardised method would benefit all involved.
This academic article is concluded with the writers highlighting then effectiveness of the open communication tool for multi-disciplinary teams, as they believe it is sustainable and cost effective in this austere climate. It is slightly biased to the Speech and Language profession but could be meaningful to other professions. The use of reference materials, case studies and visual diagrams makes the article useful for students and encourages further reading.
Glaser, B.G., &, Strauss, A.L. (1967). The Discovery of Grounded Theory (7 ed). New York: Aldine de Gruyterm.
Unwin, P., &, Hogg, R. (2012). Communication Skills: How to improve your skills. Effective Social Work with Children and Families (pp. 58 – 75). London: Sage publications.
Library catalogue, using the words Communication and Children.
Selected as a relevant choice.
Unwin and Hogg (2012), begin the chapter by immediately delving into an explanation of what communication is stating that, “Communication is not just about talking, people can communicate through thoughts and feelings, in many ways and for children who may be less sophisticated communicators, being aware of subtle ways in which they make their views known helps ensure a fuller picture is maintained.”
The authors believe that children’s feelings are often ignored due to their age and the feelings that are expressed non-verbally or through negative behaviour are written off. Widely known serious case reviews like the Laming report, 2003 or the Birmingham Safeguarding Children’s Board, 2010, are used to evidence their point and promote further reading. During these reviews the child was absent and was not offered a chance to communicate their feelings or point of view. As person-centred care is fully endorsed now, a Social worker should ensure a child is fully involved with any decisions in their care and this especially important when working with multidisciplinary teams.
Unwin and Hogg state that observation is crucial when working with children and families. They highlight red flags to look for during communication with a child such as an over-friendly, touchy-feely child or a child who is extremely wary, shrinking away from contact and the over use of swear words or accompanying sexual gesture. These behaviours and actions may be attachment or child protection issues.
The chapter also illuminates the importance of information gathering to communication. Effective ways to gather information are suggested along with ways to encourage a child to communicate with a Social Worker and reasons why they may not wish to or cannot. It is suggested communication tools like feeling faces, where a child can point to emoticon pictures to indicate their feelings or body maps where they can point to place on the picture where they are having feelings or are hurting. The importance of a private safe place may aid communication, and the use of language, eye contact and body language are important as they communicate information that words do not. The barriers to communication are discussed and advice on how to communicate with those who are non-verbal is given. The use of tools like sign language, Makaton and braille are suggested as alternatives.
Unwin and Hogg also give practical advice to Social workers on communication skills need for home visits and discussions with hostile parents, particularly when it’s the first visit and police are present. Being clear, concise and patient is key, and the ability to look beyond the superficial is fundamental. A knowledge of historical information and any communication issues the parents have is necessary to have a successful meeting.
Although the article is aimed at professionals, the language in the book is not academic and would be helpful to students and newly qualified Social Workers to help build on their skills. practise and fill gaps in their knowledge.
Total Word Count – 2198