In July 2016 Grampians Regional communication service was involved in a new initiative with Horsham Rural City Council. Horsham rural city council approached Grampians Regional Communication Service to be a part of their newly updated disability action plan. This action plan identified communication and disability awareness as an area for future training and support for the council. GRCS and Horsham Rural City Council combined forces to develop suitable training that was aimed at the following three key areas;
- Helping staff get a better understanding of the issues for people with disability
- Building staff confidence with communication when working with people with disability
- Providing staff with information in relation to creating a more inclusive environment for people with a disability.
The communication and disability awareness training was run by Grampians Regional Communication Service over a series of workshops spread over two days. 150 participants attended the training with the content focused around building staff member’s confidence in communicating with people who have little or no speech. Staff members ranged from people working in customer service, management positions, information technology, engineering, home care as well as the local counsellors.
Overall the training was very successful leading to several other councils within the region expressing interest in training. Pleasingly there have also been several requests for further information in relation to communication access and in October it is anticipated Horsham Rural City Council will receive further training in relation to making their service more accessible to people with complex communication needs.
By Megan Nestor
Grampians Regional Communication Service