On March 6th, Speech and language therapists and students from across the UK joined forces with their European colleagues to celebrate the European Day of Speech and Language Therapy. The theme of this year’s event was Multilingualism, celebrating the work that speech and language therapists do with speakers of many languages.
We also took to social media to spread the message, with over 120 supporters taking place in a mass tweet using the hashtag #euSLTday. To read a summary of the twitter activity visit http://storify.com/GivingVoiceUK/eusltday
Some of the week’s highlights are below
Students at the University of Strathclyde set up a table in the University library with posters, banners, “communi-cakes” and Giving Voice leaflets. The approached students entering the library and explained the role of speech and language therapists, and discussed the importance of communication. Two students also stationed themselves at Caledonian University and spoke to students there.
The adult Speech and language therapy team at University Hospital Aintree and Walton Centre in Liverpool promoted the International Communication Project on March 6th. Throughout the day the team gave out ICP stickers, flyers and balloons on wards and in the hospital reception, whilst explaining the role of SLTs to staff and visitors.
A 2012 language audit by Ealing Hospital NHS Trust-Community Services Brent revealed that 70% of its paediatric therapies caseload (even though English may also be present at home) had an additional language. There were an excess of 100 different languages spoken by the children and families accessing our service.
The paediatric Speech & Language Therapy Service ran a stall at ASDA Wembley Superstore to raise awareness of speech and language therapy and multilingualism in the diverse community of Brent. There were lots of fun activities from exploring your finger prints to make a long hand of friendship chain. The response by the community was very positive. Parents were eager to engage the children in the activities whilst they had time to speak with the therapists. The ASDA staffs were very helpful and supported the celebration. It was fantastic to see parents of children who we have helped attend and support the day.
There were also stands at Willesden Centre for Health & Care and Wembley Centre for Health & Care. This gave the service a chance to reach out to the community and meet with parents. Information was shared about our service and how we could help our children. A parent also commented, “It’s great to see you really care about the children”.
Students from City University London set up an ICP stall outside Professor Vicky Joffe’s inaugural lecture, asking attendees to sign the ICP pledge, complete ICP speech bubbles and find out more about the project. Over 200 speech bubbles were completed!
Birmingham City University
For the European Day of Speech and Language, SLT students at BCU hosted a range of activities to celebrate multilingualism and multiculturalism. Activities included asking people within the faculty to tell us about different cultural traditions and created a poster to display them. Students and staff had the opportunity to participate in a quiz, to test their knowledge and raise awareness of the different languages used around the world and in the UK.