Arti (not his real name) used the wheelchair ramp to get into the police station. But once he got in the door, the police officer could not understand his speech which is unclear at times. The officer did not know what to do and wanted to call one of Arti’s assistants. Arti didn’t want him do this as he was trying to report an assistant for ongoing abuse.

Jolene (not her real name) can’t speak. She types on a device to communicate. When admitted to hospital, the nurse locked up her device in the nurses’ station for “safe keeping”. Jolene’s communication was limited to answering yes and no questions. She could not request medication, ask for a drink of water, explain her pain and discomfort, or ask questions about her treatment.

In both these situations, service providers needed information about ways to make their services accessible for people who have speech and language disabilities.