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Morning tea with sounds of silence


Thursday, 5 Oct 2017

Charles Sturt University (CSU) students are hosting a silent morning tea to highlight what it might be like in a world without speech and using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) methods.

The students, enrolled in the CSU Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology degree based in Albury-Wodonga, will host the morning tea from 10am to 12pm on Friday 6 October at Junction Square in Wodonga as part of International AAC Awareness Month during October.

"Communication can take many forms; a word, a glance, a picture, a gesture," said Mrs Stacey Fisher, a speech pathology lecturer with the CSU School of Community Health.

"We have to find the best way to communicate with people who find speech difficult, including people with developmental disabilities like cerebral palsy, or an acquired disability, like brain injury and stroke.

"During our morning tea, the students and I want to show what it can be like to use alternative communication to communicate with others, and how we can make our community more accessible for people with a communication disability."

CSU speech pathology student Ms Alana Cameron said the morning tea was a great way to demonstrate technologies and methods available to people with disabilities for communicating with others.

"We have studied AAC in theory and practice in our course, and this is an opportunity to show the community what communication is possible in a real life situation," Ms Cameron said.

"By adopting simple communication strategies and raising awareness, we hope to make our community more accessible to those living with little to no speech."

The morning tea is free to the public and will commence at 10 am tomorrow, Friday 6 October.

Media contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

CSU lecturer Ms Stacey Fisher and students Ms Alana Cameron and Mr Allan Marsh will be available for interviews and pictures from 10am on Friday 6 October at Junction Square in Wodonga.  Contact CSU Media for further information and to arrange interviews.

In addition, the parent of children with communication difficulties will be available for interviews during the morning tea to give a personal perspective on living with people with communication disabilities.

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