Essex Libraries recently held the 3rd
"Inclusive Communication Essex (ICE) Sharing Day". This
years event, in partnership with Essex Cares saw over 120 people
come and see and hear what people in Essex are doing to support
Photo: Using photographs to explain "How I got here
Inclusive Communication is about enabling a person with a
learning disability to both understand and be understood when
- using speech that is simple, clear and at the right level for
the persons understanding
- using body language and gestures
- using pictures, symbols and graphics to support the spoken and
This is essential as it is generally recognised that 90% of
people with a learning disability may have a communication
diffculty of some form.
Photo: One of the displays 'shared' by one of the
services in Essex
During the day there were interactive workshops in which people
were given a "hands on" opportunity to think about and learn
- make information simple to understand
- communicate their aspirations in life
- share the best success stories in Essex
Susan Carragher, Director of Adult Community Learning and
Libraries, welcomed everyone and talked about the many ways
libraries supported people with a learning disability:
- Employment in libraries
- Employment in library book rest cafes
- Making job profiles and application forms accessible including
a national first by producing the libraries customer service
assistant job profile in a DVD format.
The main focus of the day was to 'share' the good work that is
going on throughout the county.
The newly formed 'Essex Cares' demonstrated how their products
and services focus on inclusion, and how one man, Thomas, was
supported using inclusive communcation to communciate effectively
thus radically increasing his opportunities and abilities.
Both adult and childrens' services bought along displays of
their communication work for all to see. A number of displays
showed work which has helped the services to achieve high Ofsted
rating during their recent inspections!
More importantly new contacts were made, ideas were shared
and numerous successes were celebrated.
The audience heard from people with learning disabilities
themselves. Both Adult Community Learning and Crafty Drama wrote
their own productions to demonstrate why communication is so
important to them.
There was a signed rendition of "Happy Talk" from Crafty
Photo: Drama production by Adult Community Learning,
The day also saw the "Official launch" of the ICE Resource
Service based at Witham Library.
The service is open to learning disabled people in Essex and
everyone including their families, carers and professionals who
want to improve how they communicate with them. It provides
information on training, events and equipment and can give advice
to anyone who needs help in making their information 'easier to
The library also has lots of resources to lend from
communciation aids, to Easy Read guides and DVD's. To find out
more, check out the library website or look at our Resources section.
There were also many of the specialist communication equipment
providers in attendance who held demonstrations of their equipment
throughout the day. One parent commented that she was
"estactic that my daughter can get to try the eye gaze
equipment, I'm so glad I came here today"
The day was closed by Liz Chidgey, Deputy Executive Director:
Adults, Health and Community Wellbeing, who said that
"Essex County Council Adult Social Care is committed to
making personalised services a reality for everyone".
She concluded that "Personalisation means helping people
make choices...this is a complex process in which is dependent on
effective communication," and that "Essex County
Council recognises this and is committed to supporting Inclusive
Communication in Essex".
In the spirit of the day, all the presentations, workshops,
speakers and table discussions were recorded visually on a
large scale graphic.
For any questions on Inclusive Communication Essex contact firstname.lastname@example.org
telephone 01376 519625 and ask for extension 28.
Please click on the picture now for the
Sharing Day feedback report .
Please email email@example.com
if you have any questions or comments about the report.
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