Benalla – working towards Communication Access

benallahealthOver the past few months the Regional Communication Service – East Hume region has been working with Benalla Rural City towards achieving the Communication Access Symbol.

BRC_logo-jpegThe achievement of the Communication Access Symbol is one part of the Rural City’s Draft Community Access and Inclusion BRC_logo-jpegPlan 2015-17 which aims to ensure that people with a disability and their families and carers, are able to participate fully in community life. Staff and volunteers from five sites took part in the information and training: the Rural City Service Centre, Benalla Performing Arts and Convention Centre, Benalla Art Gallery, Benalla Community Services, and Community Health at Benalla Health.

The process was enthusiastically received by management who readily identified the need for training in accessible communication, and employees who brought their insights and willingness to learn to the two training sessions that were held at Benalla Health.  We were fortunate to have Lance Hately from the National Relay Service present at the training.  Lance provided practical information on how staff can assist individuals with a hearing impairment to use telephone services, and provided an opportunity for a ‘real life’ run through of the process with some brave volunteers from Benalla Health.

Communication boards were developed for each of the sites  and staff members were involved in the process of identifying appropriate symbols with feedback offered to ensure that the boards would be functional and reflective of consumers’ requirements.

As of the end of July, Benalla Rural City and Benalla Health received confirmation that all sites had been awarded the Communication Access Symbol.

Congratulations to all involved!

– Meredith Lane