Total Communication

Combining signing, speech and physical resources to communicate well. Everyone is trained to follow the total communication approach.

Our total communication approach ensures all learners and residents are given every opportunity to understand and to be understood. This provides structure and routine to help avoid frustration and anxiety – building opportunities for social interaction.

Through a combination of speaking, signing and physical resources our approach means that no person is excluded from daily formal and informal interactions. Signs are always used to support verbal communication with a breadth of other tools. We have communication boards in residential houses, workshops and learning areas; ’now and next’ boards; task lists; sequence sliders and talking mats.

Total communication is used in both learning and living environments and is at the heart of our approach, embraced by carers, educators, volunteers and leaders. Everyone in our team completes an externally validated signing course for people with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Wide green doodle of trees, house and mountains.
Board with signs on.
Loom with communication board on.
Boy and educator with laptop

Since our son is non-verbal we rely on staff to keep us informed and they always do. They find ways to encourage him to communicate and pass ideas on to us, and always take on board our suggestions and preferences.