Education

In addition to general communication barriers, we may experience unique communication barriers when in an educational setting.  These include:

  • Lack of training for educators, (teachers, educational assistants and support staff) in communication, language, augmentative and alternative communication, assisted learning, curriculum adaptation, adaptive technology, universal design for learning and inclusive education methods
  • Lack of administrative knowledge, funding and resources to support educators to address the communication and learning requirements of students with communication disabilities (e.g. teacher training, extra time, support services and assistive technology)
  • Lack of coordination between multiple government funding sources (e.g. Ministries of Education, Ministry of Health) relating to the provision and type of communication services, communication tools and assistive technology required by the student
  • Lack of protocols and best practices for the engagement of external communication services such as augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) services
  • Lack of clarity of roles, responsibility and accountability for educators, speech language pathologists and AAC clinicians when addressing the communication needs of students as they impact on the learning process (e.g. providing student with appropriate ways to communicate, adapting curriculum to meet student’s needs, use of assistive technology, follow-through relating to recommendations from specialized communication services)
  • Inappropriate educational placements and environments for students with communication disabilities
  • Lack of opportunities and supports to facilitate peer interactions and socialization with other students
  • Misperception and underestimation of a student’s ability to communicate and learn with appropriate supports and accommodations
  • Lack of sufficient and appropriate communication services and input into individual educational planning from Speech-Language Pathologists and AAC clinicians
  • Lack of time and supports for students to communicate and participate in educational and social activities
  • Lack of consistent protocols to ensure the smooth transition of communication tools, supports and adaptive technology across all learning environments including grade to grade, school to school, school to home, and after graduation for life-long learning
  • Lack of appropriate accommodations and adaptations for assignments, quizzes, tests and exams