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The World Report on Disability: An impetus to reconceptualize services for people with communication disability

McAllister, Lindy and Wylie, Karen and Davidson, Bronwyn and Marshall, Julie (2015) The World Report on Disability: An impetus to reconceptualize services for people with communication disability. International journal of speech-language pathology, 15 (1). pp. 118-126. ISSN 1754-9507

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Abstract

Challenges to the conceptualization and delivery of services for people with communication disabilities (PWCD) have been described in the lead article in this issue, which was itself a response to the World Report on Disability. A number of commentaries followed the lead article, where authors from around the world responded to the lead article (Wylie, McAllister, Davidson & Marshall, 2013), and the World Report on Disability. This paper synthesizes the issues, ideas, and challenges raised in the preceding commentaries. This has been done by addressing each of the four key issues posed in the lead article. A number of proposals for better responding to the needs of PWCD are outlined. These include: engaging with the collection of epidemiological data, consideration of which PWCD are under-served and how this may be changed, the use of documentation, adoption of new roles and strategies for speech-language pathologists, the challenges of communitydirected vs individually-focused approaches, and the suggestion of public health communication disability workers and mid-tier workers, who could work alongside more traditional speech-language pathologists.

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