ELCAP on track with communication project

An independent evaluation has confirmed that ELCAP is on track with its innovative communication project, Our Voice, Our Choice.

The project aims to enable ELCAP staff to better understand the communication needs and preferences of the individuals the charity supports.

An evaluation team from Values Into Action Scotland (VIAS) found that “ELCAP should be a beacon of good communication practice for other support agencies to aspire to.”  The full report from VIAS is now available online.

Reflecting on the success of Our Voice, Our Choice, ELCAP Chief Executive Paul White said:

“Imagine what it would be like if we couldn’t express the things that matter to us or understand what others are saying.  Many of us take communication for granted, but up to 90% of people with learning disabilities have communication difficulties.

Our staff were already adept at tuning in to the communication methods of the individuals we support.  But with the expert assistance of NHS Lothian Speech and Language Therapists, many are taking their knowledge and practice to a different level.  We are indebted to Daisy Blair, Katie Cunningham and Kelly Evans for their commitment to developing our skills and improving lives through better communication.”

In September 2019, ELCAP formed a partnership with NHS Lothian’s Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) service to enable its Support Practitioners to use The Five Good Communication Standards with the individuals they support.  The Standards help staff to:

  • Know what good communication looks like.
  • Know whether good communication is happening.
  • Know about resources which can enable good communication.

The report from VIAS focuses on ELCAP’s activity in the 2020/21 financial year.

White said:

“Our work in the last year was made possible by a grant of £15,033 from the Scottish Government and by a generous donation of £10,000 from the family of an individual we support.  We have also benefited greatly from the enthusiasm and guidance of Lucie McAnespie, Head of Adult Speech and Language Therapy at NHS Lothian.  We are delighted that their backing has helped us make more of a difference to the individuals we support, while developing the skills of our staff.

We are encouraged by the achievements of Our Voice, Our Choice, but we won’t rest on our laurels.  We want to embed the importance of good communication in ELCAP and strive to get things right for every individual we support.”

A presentation on Our Voice, Our Choice will be made at ELCAP’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), which will be held on Friday 29 October 2021.