We believe that everyone, irrespective of the complexity of his or her needs, wants to and does communicate.
To provide support that truly reflects and meets an individual’s unique needs, choices and aspirations, we make sure that we find the best way of engaging with each person.
From signing, using objects of reference, pictures, symbols or adapting our verbal communication, we use Person Centred Approaches to understand how a person wishes to communicate and be communicated with to ensure it is in a way that makes sense to them.
Everyone supported by MacIntyre has a Communication Profile. It is a record which details a person’s expressive and receptive communication and importantly how they say they like or don’t like something. We ensure that Communication Profiles are put together with the person we support and that it is reviewed annually, with any changes recorded.
Easy Read is a way of accessibly communicating information to someone with a learning disability. Easy Read documents are written in plain English, with little punctuation, good spacing and a picture, photograph, symbol or drawing to illustrate each written point. All of MacIntyre’s Easy Read information is given the MacIntyre Checker’s stamp of approval before it is published.
Intensive Interaction is an approach to interacting with and teaching early communication and interaction skills to people who do not find it easy communicating or being social. We use Intensive Interaction to support someone with a learning disability to develop competence and confidence as a communicator. It can be used at any time and in any place, taking opportunities as they arise. Find out more about Intensive Interaction.
Signing is used across MacIntyre, either expressively or receptively, to support understanding.
Expressive: A person may have been introduced to signing at nursery, school or college, where there is often a strong signing environment with many opportunities to learn and develop signing skills. This communication skill can be further developed by the introduction of new signs as the person moves on to new experiences and opportunities for communication.
Receptive: For signing to assist someone’s understanding, it is essential that everyone in their environment uses this method of communication.
MacIntyre has a 50 word core vocabulary, which staff teams are trained in.
Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
PECS is designed to teach functional communication skills with an initial focus on spontaneous communication. People can use picture symbols for the exchange or an iPad version. It has particularly been shown to increase communication skills for people with autism.
PECS begins with teaching someone we support to exchange a picture of a desired item with a communication partner, who immediately honours the request. After the person learns to spontaneously request a desired item, the system goes on to teach differentiation among symbols and then how to construct a simple sentence. In the most advanced phases, the people we support are taught to respond to questions and to comment.
Staff receive training in all areas relating to facilitating communication for the people we support. Training includes writing quality Communication Profiles, Intensive Interaction and speech, which is covered as part of our three-day Great Interactions training. Bespoke training is also available for staff who are supporting a person with particular needs, either face-to-face or through MacIntyre’s e-Learning programme.