Introducing the Communication Bill of Rights
Do you have a child who struggles to communicate?
If you are reading this article, chances are communication is important to you. Maybe you know someone (or work with someone) with a communication difficulty. If you care about someone with a communication disability, chances are it is important to you that your loved one has a voice they can use to express themselves.
When navigating (and educating) the communication community of a loved one, you may need resources. Do people tend to talk for your child or loved one? Are there times you feel your loved one is excluded from conversation or social events? Maybe you’d just like to educate yourself and your communication community for the sake of your loved one. If so, the Communication Bill of Rights is an excellent place to start. This document outlines communication rights for people with communication challenges. These rights include being listened to and being included in social activities, among other suggestions. In today’s post I’ll review the rights that really stuck out for me. In addition, I’ll give you some resources to continue your research if you’d like to learn more.
The Communication Bill of Rights
The following rights, written in first person, include the right to:
- Make choices
- Express my feelings
- Learn about life
- Learn about myself
- Involvement in social interaction
- Have a voice that others listen to
- Access aids, services, and resources
- Communication that is respectful and dignified.
- Access to information.
- Request information
- Use communication to reject things I don’t like
- Understand communications
Communication is a basic human right, even for (especially for!) people who have difficulty communicating. Everyone deserves a voice.
Key Points in the Bill of Communication Rights
Below, I’ve made a graphic of some of the rights that stuck out for me. Also, other options are either here or here. Because these documents are visual, they are an excellent way to familiarize yourself with this topic. While you continue to learn more, these documents can help you identify your own key points.
First, Listen. Second, Give time to respond. Most important, respect the personhood of the person who is communicating with you.
After all, isn’t this just plain good advice for communicating with anyone? Consider what would happen if we used these suggestions in our everyday lives. How would it impact our own communication? In addition to that, how would it impact the lives of others with communication challenges?
In conclusion, may our communication partners all the dignity and respect they deserve.
What from the Communication Bill of Rights struck you the most?