International Affairs

Speech Pathology Australia is one of the founding organisations behind the International Communication Project (initially the International Communication Project 2014 or ICP2014). The International Communication Project continues in 2016.

World Congress of the IALP

The Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT) is hosting the 30th World Congress of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics in Dublin on 21-25 August 2016.

The congress bring together international experts and clinicians from speech, language, communication, hearing and swallowing sciences and education. It is anticipated that over 1500 delegates from across the 58 affiliated member associations of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics will attend the congress.

Recent Activity

In 2015 the ‘International Communication Project 2014’ evolved into the ‘International Communication Project’ (ICP).

In resolving to continue the project, the founding organisations agreed that the focus in 2015 should be more specific and targetted.

In 2015, the aim of the International Communication Project (ICP) was to “[E]nsure global health policy explicitly recognises, covers, informs, and addresses communication disabilities”. To give effect to this new aim, the objectives for the Project in 2015 were:

  1. To increase understanding of ‘communication disabilities’ amongst world health bodies and policy makers;
  2. To target relevant world health documentation, events, and key personnel to ensure that future global health policy recognises and addresses communication disabilities and the vital issue of access to care;
  3. To strengthen advocacy directed at key individuals, organisations and events in the sphere of world health policy;
  4. To increase funding for indigenous professional capacity building / training for the purpose of strengthening access to speech pathologists/therapist and audiologists, especially in developing countries.

Arising from this new direction, late 2015 the ICP engaged Weber Shandwick, an internationally recognised consultant, to give effect to this new gaol and objectives.

In 2016, Weber Shandwick's brief is to help strengthen the ICP’s international advocacy endeavours and efforts, to have communication disorders and disabilities formally recognised by international health policy makers and international health organisations.

In achieving this, Weber Shandwick is developing a framework of action that will guide the ICP founding organisations as they advocate for a higher profile and status for communication disabilities with international bodies and policy makers for the purpose of securing explicit recognition of communication disabilities in world health policy.

A final report is, in addition to incorporating the framework referenced above, toinclude:

  • A complete listing all key international conventions, policies and reports (e.g. the WHO Strategy for Disability; UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, etc.), and other relevant documentation relating to world health policy;
  • The procedure for amending or updating this documentation to ensure the inclusion of an explicit recognition of communication disabilities;
  • The identification of relevant funding resources for research into communication disabilities and associated influencing, as well as key individuals, organisations and events, which can assist with advocacy for ensuring the amendment or updating of relevant world health policy;
  • Relevant contact details, locations, key dates and other information that will assist in advancing the Project’s Goal and Objectives.

International Support

The Speech Pathology Australia was proud in 2014 to grant funding to CABDICO – The OIC Project in Cambodia, and to the Trinh Foundation for activities in Vietnam.

In Cambodia it is estimated that there are around 600,000 people with a communication or swallowing disorder. This is at a time when there are no university-trained Cambodian speech pathologists in Cambodia.

The Association supports ‘OIC – The Cambodian Project’ and its pilot program, through its grant, to provide Cambodian community workers with speech pathology training and strategies that allow them to deliver support to children and adults in community and school settings.

In Vietnam, The Trinh Foundation, with the support of Association’s grant, is helping develop and deliver an integrated professional development program with sustainable interpreting, translation and associated resources for local speech pathology graduates.

Background

Speech Pathology Australia is one of the founding organisations behind the International Communication Project (initially the International Communication Project 2014 or ICP2014)

The project was initially conceived by the speech pathology associations in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Australia. It was also endorsed by the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics and organisations and countries from around the world are invited to join the campaign.

In 2014, the aim of the ICP2014 was to spread the word about the vital importance of communication to all aspects of our lives and the critical difference that communication professionals can make – especially when they are involved early.

The aims of the ICP2014 were to:

  • Raise the profile and status of communication disability with international health bodies and policy makers;
  • Increase public awareness of communication disability and the severe impact it has on people's lives;
  • Encourage people around the world to join together to make a difference in the lives of people living with communication disability.

The International Communication Project has its own website.