Beaumont College

Communication

student using a communication aid

Speech and Language Therapists are an integral part of the inter-disciplinary team and have links with the School and Adult Learning Disability Therapists who work with the students before and after college.
The communication team has two main aims:

  • To ensure that the college environment meets the existing communication needs of each student.
  • To support students to build on their existing abilities to develop communication skills that are transferable to life outside and after college.

The Speech and Language Therapists carry out assessments of students’ communication skills and this informs the kind of input each student receives from the Communication team. All staff regularly access training on the communication techniques and approaches that are commonly used in college, and further training on more specialised techniques is provided to targeted staff. This ensures that the whole college is responsive to the individual communication needs of the students and it promotes the use of a Total Communication approach. The techniques and approaches typically employed to maximise the learning and independence of students include: Intensive Interaction, Augmentative and Assistive Communication, Total Communication, Makaton, Objects of Reference, and individualised visual supports.

Students’ communication goals are person-centred and generally embedded within curriculum activities, although opportunities for discrete trialling and practice are available, if necessary. The Speech and Language Therapists work alongside teaching colleagues to ensure curriculum delivery is differentiated and individual communication goals are targeted across a range of contexts. All therapists, including Speech and Language therapists, are active in supporting learning within sessions.

The communication team works closely with the inter-disciplinary therapy team. The development of student-centred communication solutions is strongly supported by working with colleagues in Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and IT. Having an on-site inter-disciplinary team means that communication development plans are holistic, well informed and responsive to the needs of the student.