The next ResNetSLT Tweetchat will take place on Wednesday, 28th March (7.30 – 8.30pm UK time).

The chat will be hosted by Katherine Broomfield and Elicia Jones and will be based on this paper: 'Using Twitter to Access the human right to communication for people who use Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC)'.

The current issue of the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and highlights the importance of the human right to communication.

This month also marked the European committee for Speech and Language Therapists, CPLOL, European SLT awareness day on 6th March. This year the focus was on Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC).

This month's ResNetSLT Tweetchat is pulling these two events together by discussing the use of Twitter by people who rely on AAC as a means of access the human right of communication. This paper describes the potential benefit that direct training in using Twitter may offer for people who rely on AAC.

'Twitter use enables individuals and groups to access their right to "freedom of opinion and expression"'.

Existing users of Twitter were recruited through social media and through organisations that provide services to people with disabilities.

Three adults with little or no functional speech, who used AAC systems, computers and the Internet were recruited. They identified goals for using Twitter and underwent online training including a two hour tutorial on the strategic use of Twitter via Skype.

Only two of the users were available for follow up interviews and data collection exploring their uses of Twitter. Both had increased the number of communication partners they interacted with on Twitter after the training and both had more communication paths.

One user liked to Tweet opinions as a person with disability, whereas the other viewed Twitter as a useful tool to build 'professional' networks 'locally and nationally'.

Although unable to conclude the benefits of the training programme, this paper demonstrates that Twitter may be of benefit to people who use AAC in terms of disseminating and generating information about disability.

More generally, there may be a benefit to society through 'greater awareness of disability, improved attitudes and increased knowledge about disability and its impact on people with disability and the wider community'.

The Tweetchat will be based around these questions:
  • How have you used Social Media in your professional life and what do you think are the benefits and challenges from your own experience?
  • Have you used Social Media as part of a treatment or intervention plan with someone who has a communication impairment? How did that go and would you do anything differently next time?
  • Have you engaged with people with communication impairment on Twitter/Social Media, or would you like to? What have you learnt, or what would you like to know?
  • VOTE – Do you think SLTs should be actively promoting SoMe use to support people with communication difficulties to access their human right of communication?

1 comment:

  1. Great questions! I am really looking forward to joining people in discussing these issues, it's not easy to reflect on things that are not a common part of practice yet but useful to think about possibilities, and hearing any examples would be great. Thank you for featuring the study and highlighting the use of Twitter by people who use AAC.