Last week ARC (NI) launched the Lost for Words toolkit, designed to help people with learning disabilities support others who do not talk.

Funded by the Community Foundation for NI and supported by Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Lost for Words was developed as part of the ARC (NI) Telling It Like It Is (TILII) project, which supports people with learning disabilities to speak out for themselves.

The toolkit includes a DVD filmed with staff at Muckamore Abbey Hospital and a workbook, which together show how people who may not have speech do communicate and how they can be communicated with. Initially training will be delivered free of charge by ARC (NI) for people with learning disabilities, carers and staff at learning disability organisations across NI.

Miriam Somerville, co-ordinator of the Lost for Words project, said: “It is so important that the voices of people who do not use speech are heard not only in everyday activities but also when planning service changes. It is often a challenge to be able to listen to that voice and Lost For Words can help us do that.”

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