Mildura residents came to experience some of the challenges faced by those who can’t use speech to communicate. A silent morning tea was held in Langtree Mall to promote communication and give the public a chance to use alternative forms of communication.
Many got involved in the various games, including silent bingo and themed activities on the tables that introduced different forms of AAC. Hand gestures, writing, communication boards, pictures and even moulding of play dough was used to try to get their message across, some more successful than others!
It was great to see the local Parkinson’s and Stroke Support Groups, as well as members from the Christie Centre and other community organisations and even those that were just having a stroll through the mall and decided to join in.
A stand out of the morning was a performance by the Sunny Street Singers, a choir from the Christie Centre. The choir is made up of 5 talented young women who have performed at many events around Mildura. They performed original songs with accompanying key word signs and received a great big silent applause for their outstanding effort.
The Silent Morning Tea received TV and Newspaper coverage, which aimed to increase the awareness of complex communication needs in Mildura. Many that attended made statements such as “it made me realise how difficult it is not to use speech to communicate” and “I didn’t know about people that have trouble talking”. Overall it was a great morning that was enjoyed by all and sent home a strong message about communication in the community.
By Danielle Bryan