THE CARE CERTIFICATE WORKBOOK STANDARD 6
For those whose communication skills may be limited, technological aids can be used.
Hearing aids, hearing loops, text phones, text messaging on mobile phones and magnifiers
are all forms of technological communication devices.
Some individuals may use word or symbol boards to support their speech and/or their
understanding. This helps the listener by to associating a picture or printed word with the
verbal communication in order to be able to understand what is being said.
Others may use speech synthesisers, which replace speech either by producing a visual
display of written text or by producing synthesised speech that expresses the information
verbally. Voice recognition software can be purchased for computers (including many
tablet ‘pad’ computers with touch screens) to translate speech to written text or the other
way around. Some word-processing programs and apps have this already built in.
When using communication aids always check that they function properly, that they are
clean and in good working order. Should you have any worries about communication aids
or technology not working properly, or being unclean, report this to a senior member of
staff or the individual’s carer or family member.
Barriers to effective communication
A barrier is anything that will get in the way of communication. There are a wide range of
Attitude – When a worker is abrupt due to time limits, not having enough resources or
their mood, the person they are speaking to may feel intimidated or frustrated and not want
Limited use of technology – When the technological aids known to be the best way for
someone to communicate are not available.
Body positioning – Sitting too close could be intimidating and would make an individual
feel uncomfortable. Sitting too far away could show lack of interest or concern.
Emotions – When someone is depressed, angry, embarrassed or upset their emotions
may affect their ability to think and communicate in a sensible way.
Physical – When someone has physical conditions that create communication difficulties,
for example, being breathless, not having any teeth or being in pain.
Not enough time – Not giving individuals time to say what they want may make them feel
rushed and reluctant to express their true wishes.
Poor or negative body language – Crossed arms or legs, poor facial expressions, poor
body positioning, constant fidgeting or looking at a watch or mobile phone can all make
someone less likely to communicate.
Lack of privacy – Think carefully about where and when private and confidential
conversations should take place.
Stereotyping – Generalisations about a group of people that are wrong and misleading.
An example would be that ‘all older people are hard of hearing’.
Other barriers include sensory impairments, culture, language, noise, lighting or substance