Friday, 30 December 2011
A time to reflect...
I’ve recently started learning how to play the Ukulele (not something I have EVER thought about before!) Liz Panton, (and her fantastic Ukulele song about Speech and Language Therapy) inspired me to do something different and I’ve met some lovely people at the Ukulele group that I now attend fortnightly! I’ve had a number of speech and language therapy related conversations with some of the other group members, some of which have had contact with Speech and Language Therapists and appreciate our important role.
It is truly humbling when people tell you how fantastic they think the profession is due to personal experience. I have had an exciting and motivating year and I am proud to have been part of a brilliant campaign. I would never have described myself as someone who is likely to campaign, but I would describe myself as enthusiastic and passionate, and Giving Voice has allowed me to tailor that enthusiasm and take it forward to raise awareness of Speech and Language Therapy. It has been amazing to see just how creative and proud the profession is in our quest to ‘shout about’ just how good we are! Also, RCSLT have done an amazing job!
My initial interest in getting involved in Giving Voice was to raise awareness of what Speech and Language Therapists do as throughout my training, like many other SLTs, I have been faced with lots of questions that demonstrate that the profession is little understood. I want to spread the word to the public, one person at a time to increase awareness of what we do.
I also got involved to raise awareness at a higher level, with the government, to ensure that they understand the important role of SLT services. This is important to ensure that SLT services remain there in the future, both so that newly qualified SLTs can get jobs and more importantly to ensure that people with communication and swallowing difficulties get the specialist support that they need to be able to participate fully in their everyday lives.
Communication is absolutely vital to be able to form and maintain relationships with family, friends and society. Whether this is a child just starting out and finding their way in the world, or an older person trying to maintain those relationships following a brain injury or degenerative disease; communication is key. I have personal experience of family members with communication and feeding difficulties, so I understand a bit about how these difficulties impact on family life. Therefore it is vital that people can access the SLT support they need.
It’s been fantastic to be involved in so many Giving Voice events throughout the year and seeing some of these reported in local media. I started this blog to share some ideas and report on my own involvement in GV and I can’t believe there’s been over 2000 page views in just 5 months! I don’t know who reads it but I appreciate that people are interested in what I have to say. I will continue to blog into the New Year J