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Collaboration for accessibility

Published: 29 March 2017

The right to communication and participation are regulated in a number of policy documents and the lack of this is since 2015 reason for discrimination. Against this background, a day with the aim of spreading knowledge, experience and above all inspire the communication support were recently organized.

The day was organized by AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) The Team for Social Services in the municipality in collaboration with Luleå University of Technology and Special Needs Education Agency, SPSM.
Peter Hedström Durhan, project manager for AAC on social services in the municipality believes that cooperation with Luleå University of Technology is a natural step in the accessibility work.

- Social Services in the municipality cooperates with many different stakeholders in the AAC. It seems completely natural to also interact with Luleå University of Technology whose responsibilities include courses in special education and also research in communication for people with disabilities.

A growing interest

Ulla-Britt Bergdahl, a lecturer at Luleå University of Technology sees a growing demand for expertise in the field of AAC.

- The interest to develop and clarify communication for people who are in need of AAC is increasing. To meet this need and to live up to the policy documents are of great importance to different activities cooperating on this subject, says Ulla-Britt Bergdahl and continues.

- Communication is essential for learning and participation. To create a communicative  environment becomes more and more important. Many agencies and organizations in the community now has the task of developing their businesses in order to create even better conditions for the participation and empowerment of vulnerable people in communicative situations.

Quest for a more accessible environment

In addition to employees of the social welfare department and students from Luleå University of Technolgy also people from other municipalities, counties and school health participated.

- Common to all is that we meet people who are in need of communications support in their everyday lives. There may be children, young people, older people, people with disabilities or persons with acquired brain injury. How supportive a communication is is often up to the one that meets the person, emphasizes Ulla-Britt Bergdahl.

- Everyone in society, wherever we find ourselves, sooner or later end up in situations where communication becomes vulnerable - this collaboration is a contribution of the university in our common quest for a more accessible environment for everyone, says Ulla-Britt Bergdahl.