Becoming a Communication Accessible School.
Communication is a basic human right.

What is communication access?

“Communication Access is about communicating with people who do not use speech or have speech that is difficult to understand.” (Scope)

Communication access is about supporting successful communication between people regardless of their communication needs.

People who are unable to use speech to meet all of their communication needs may use other methods of communication to get their message across, such as:

  • Symbol based communication books (eg. PODD books, PECS, aided language displays)
  • Electronic speech generating devices
  • Signs (Key Word Sign, Auslan)
  • Gestures
  • Spelling

Becoming a Communication Accessible School – What does this look like at Coburg SDS?


  • Are welcoming and friendly to all members of our school community.
  • Treat all members of our school community with dignity and respect.
  • Value all types of communication equally.
  • Acknowledge and respond to all communication attempts.
  • Give extra time to our students as well as other members of our school community, in order to listen to their message.
  • Create opportunities for our students to have purposeful interactions with others.
  • Teach our students a range of communication skills and continue to support ongoing learning.
  • Strive to support our students in being able to say “Whatever I want to say, to whoever I want to say it to, whenever and however I want.” (Gayle Porter)
  • Strive to uphold the Communication Bill of Rights (National Joint Committee for the Communicative Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities).
  • Use group PODD books in each classroom to ensure all students have access to symbol based language at all times.
  • Support students to develop and learn to use individualised communication systems.
  • Ensure students have access to their communication systems at all times.