Why is it important?

For many people with learning disability, using different forms of communication is essential to let others know how we feel and what we think and to build relationships.

Here are some things we need communication for:

  • Choice
  • Relationships
  • Information
  • Expression
  • Self Esteem
  • Independence
  • Speaking up

Imagine what it would be like if you had a communication difficulty. What would you do in these situations?


  1. you were a wheelchair user and at a friend’s house and couldn’t ask for a drink
  2. you wanted to say a thank you for a fantastic birthday present
  3. you were in a park in a strange town and needed to find a toilet
  4. you were fed up of people making up their minds for you and wanted to tell them to shut up

Communication is a basic right for everyone with learning disability.

The Government White Paper “Valuing People” has underlined the need for everyone to have equal access to communication in a way that is individual and relevant.

Here are some of the things The Government White Paper said:

“We believe that everyone should be able to make choices.”

“The Government expects organisations working with disabled people to develop communication policies … For those with severe disabilities this may require individual communication techniques.”

(Valuing People, Chapter 2, 2001)


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Page last reviewed: 14 August, 2017