Adults with Disabilities - Parramatta Speech, Language and Literacy Solutions

Communication Difficulties

Adults who have a disability may or may not have an effective communication system in place. As a result, their communication success and interaction with others may be limited and their quality of life may not be as good as it could be. 

Parramatta Speech, Language & Literacy Solutions can undertake a thorough assessment of an individual’s communication skills, as well as those of their communication partners (e.g. family members, friends, peers, disability support staff) and identify positive solutions to overcoming communication break downs and other social / environmental factors that may be hindering communication. Parramatta Speech, Language & Literacy Solutions has experience in working with a number of non-government and charitable organisations to promote and develop the skills of adult clients with a range of disabilities and in providing interactive, informative and educational training on communication and safe swallowing matters for staff. Read more about the range of training workshops and programs that can be delivered to staff at your workplace. 






We can help inject new ‘life’ in to old communication systems that may be in place for an individual and his/her communication partners by:

  • updating or extending a current system to include up-to-date information, interests, skills, and communication partners and the associated vocabulary / conversational phrases required by the individual with a disability
  • recommending and trialling new strategies and techniques
  • moving the individual on to a more appropriate and functional communication system
  • providing training and education to family members and disability support staff so that all communication partners have a better understanding of how the individual with a disability communicates and what can be done to facilitate his/her communication development.

It is important to note that an individual’s communication skills can change over time due to a number of factors, and that re-assessment and review of an individual’s communication skills is essential in order to maintain his/her participation in daily activities and routines, and to enhance his/her quality of life and well-being.

An individual’s communication skills can change over time due to any of the following factors:

  • Decreased contact with one’s communication partners (e.g. friends, family members, peers, disability support workers) and therefore reduced opportunities to practise one’s communication skills. Decreased contact with communication partners may result from:
    • A change in residential accommodation
    • Illness or death of communication partners, and/or
    • Frequent turn-over of disability support staff at group homes, day programs and other settings access by the individual with a disability.
  • Deteriorating health and well-being (as part of the natural ageing process or as an acute episode of ill health). When an individual is experiencing changes in their physical and/or emotional health, they may be experiencing pain and discomfort, fatigue, apathy and reduced motivation and interest in the world around them. Hearing and vision difficulties also become more prevalent as we get older, and these can have a significant impact upon an individual’s ability to communicate successfully with others.

If your family member, friend or client is in need of a communication overhaul, please contact the Clinic on 0417 190 760 to organise a time for an assessment.

Swallowing Help

An Individual’s swallowing function can change over time, due to factors such as ill health or injury, as well as the ageing process in general. People with a disability tend to age faster than those without a disability, so they are more likely to experience changes in their swallowing function and have difficulty managing their food and fluids at an earlier stage in their life than the rest of the population. Individuals with a disability who are dependent upon others to feed them are also more likely to experience unsafe swallowing and are at an increased risk of acquiring aspiration pneumonia, a serious chest infection caused by food, fluid, saliva or other foreign material entering the airway and the lungs. An inability to safely enjoy the foods and drinks that we were once able to enjoy can have serious effects on an individual’s quality of life and well-being. For these reasons, it is vital that people with a disability be reviewed and monitored by a Speech Pathologist on a regular basis, so that safe swallowing strategies and changes in food and fluid consistencies can be implemented as soon as possible.

If your family member, friend or client is in need of a safe swallowing review, please contact the Clinic on 0417 190 760 to organise a time for an assessment.

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