The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists has joined an international coalition calling for worldwide decision-makers to recognise communication as a basic human right.
The professional body for speech therapy in the UK and Ireland has teamed up with fellow speech, language and hearing organisations to launch the International Communication Project 2014 (ICP 2014). The Project aims to raise awareness of the importance of communication and the critical difference that communication professionals can make. It also aims to build speech and language therapy capacity in countries where it is sparse.
ICP 2014’s Universal Declaration of Communication Rights is a petition that outlines the debilitating effects of communication disorders and pledges public support for the millions of people worldwide who experience them.
In the United Kingdom, speech, language and communication needs are the most common type of need among students in the English SEN system in state-funded primary schools. In the United States, around 40 million people are estimated to have communication disorders.
Campaigners are planning a range of activities and events to raise the profile and status of communication disorders and disability with international health bodies and policy makers. In a joint statement, the founding ICP countries emphasised that they are committed to having ICP 2014cast a light on the importance of communication health to quality of life. They are also encouraging countries from across the globe to participate in the Project.
ICP 2014 is a collaboration between professional organisations for speech and language therapists in the United States, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia.
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