on the Role of AAC in Prevention of Violence
against People with Communication Impairments
prof. Maurice Grinberg
Introduction to the Symposium
Robyn White, PhD
Access to justice for persons with communication disabilities: International Court accomodation guidelines
Statistics have consistently demonstrated that persons with communication disabilities have an increased risk of becoming a victim of crime, yet these individuals continue to be marginalised in the criminal justice system. They are often denied fair and equal treatment before the court, despite international treaties such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD), advocating for their legal rights. Article 13 of the CRPD, and courtroom accommodations have received little attention from interventionists, legal practitioners, and researchers. This presentation will demonstrate how persons with communication disabilities can access the courts not only as a victim of crime but also as a defendant with disabilities. Throughout this presentation, the focus will be on access to justice for persons with communication disabilities and how internationally appraised guidelines (White, 2021) can be utilised to assist these individuals. And furthermore, highlighting how these international appraised guidelines could assist persons with communication disabilities to be able to equally and fairly access the court system.
Prof. Ingeborg Thümmel
Supporting the disclosure process of people with intellectual disabilities/intellectual developmental disorder (IDD) and little or no functional speech (LNFS) as a first step to access to justice on an equal basis with others
Disclosure of sexual violence is the first step for individuals with IDD and LNFS to access justice on an equal basis with others. In this context, the crucial question arises of how to support the disclosure process. The paper presents a study in which 10 residents of a residential setting (5 ♀ 5 ♂, age: 23 – 53 years, 𝑥̅ = 33,7 ) talk about their perceptions of violence, violence experienced and desired protective measures. The goal of the study was to enable people from the target group to disclose through effective communication support. Furthermore, it was tested how conversations in which multimodal communication is used can be effectively videotaped, transcribed, and analyzed.
The results obtained in the interviews are transferable to statement- taking and other legal proceedings.
Development of a child-centred and multi-disciplinary approach to violence against children
Netta Ben Zeev
The Right to be Heard
The Right to Be Heard: Making the process of investigation and testimony
of people with complex communication difficulties accessible using AA
Communication Access to Justice
Individuals with speech, language and/or complex communication needs have a right to equality under Canadian law. There are, however, many barriers in place that can make accessing justice almost impossible for people with communication disabilities.
Communication Intermediaries (CIs) are registered speech language pathologists (SLPs), trained to facilitate two-way communication between individuals with communication disabilities and justice professionals. Like language translators, CIs act as neutral officers of the court. They provide the accommodations needed for individuals with communication disabilities to have equitable access to legal, police, corrections, and justice services in Canada.
CIs are trained to work within the Canadian justice system to ensure that the necessary communication supports are in place, without negatively impacting the impartiality of the justice process. These communication supports include a broad variety of augmentative and alternative communication supports, tailored to the individual’s specific complex communication needs.
Unfortunately, knowledge about CIs and their role in accommodating communication disabilities in the justice system is still limited. This webinar will provide you with information about the role of the CI, how CIs work, and information about how to access a CI if you or another individual with a communication disability needs one.
Communication Access to Justice – link
Prof. Juan Bornman
Not silent if adults listen – Primary prevention of child abuse
Child abuse affects more than half of the world’s children (Hillis et al., 2016). Children with disability are more than three to five times as likely as children without disabilities to be physically and sexually abused (Nyberg et al. 2021). Typically, the abuse of children with disability starts at a young age and often continues throughout their lives, meaning that they become repeat victims. Literature has shown that violence levels continue to increase and escalate on a prolonged, ongoing basis (Fluke et al., 2008; Jones et al., 2012; Krnjacki et al., 2018) . All forms of child abuse can have long-term effects on health and well-being, both in childhood as well as into adult life. Therefore, all efforts should be made to prevent child abuse.
Prevention of child abuse can be divided into three distinct yet interconnected levels, namely primary prevention (i.e., prevention before the abuse occurs), secondary prevention (i.e., prevention when the abuse is suspected or occurring), and tertiary prevention (i.e., prevention of further trauma once abuse has occurred).
In this presentation, the emphasis will fall on primary prevention as it is considered to be the most effective approach. Hence the key components, teaching methods and information that should be included in school-based abuse prevention programs aimed at children with disability, will be discussed. These types of programs are generally considered to be an effective approach to increase children’s knowledge regarding their rights, what constitutes abuse and it also provides them with safety skills such as avoiding and stopping abuse, and who they can tell if they have been a victim of abuse.
Secondary prevention approaches focus on children who have been abused and aim to stop further abuse from occurring. In this presentation an example of an abuse disclosure communication board for children with disability will be mentioned. The training of persons in the criminal justice system such as police officers, lawyers, prosecutors, and judges using augmentative and alternative communication systems will briefly be touched.
Finally, the presentation will conclude by highlighting the important role of tertiary prevention which includes interventions aimed at decreasing the effects of abuse such as rehabilitation and medical treatment for these children (Covington, 2013; O’Donnell et al., 2008).
Abuse boards – link
Registered Intermediaries are communication specialists that facilitate the communication of vulnerable witnesses in the criminal justice system in England and Wales, both when giving evidence to the police and when attending court. This presentation will explain the role of Registered Intermediaries, the background to the scheme and how the process works. Case studies are included.
Advocate’s Gateway – https://www.theadvocatesgateway.org/
Communication Aid toolkit – link