Appropriate Health & Education Support is vital for All Nonspeaking People in NI & UK

Appropriate Health & Education Support is vital for All Nonspeaking People in NI & UK

3 October 2019
Petition to
Michelle O’Neill (Sinn Fein)
Signatures: 3,289Next Goal: 5,000
Support now

Why this petition matters

We seek to a change of support for our Non-Speaking and Non-Verbal people in Northern Ireland Issues to include Health and Education.

These are the primary challenges facing individuals and families which are enormous, and growing in Northern Ireland for those who are NonSpeaking/Nonverbal with any diagnosis or disability whether it is autism, severe learning difficulties, a brain injury, dementia, stroke or heart attack survivor this list is not exhausted.

While every family is different, the challenges often include from our research and personal experiences and many others who support our campaign

• The denial of the right to communicate, can lead to denial of the right to life.

This fundamental human right to have your communication recognised, must be at the heart of understanding by everyone.

Unfortunately, this is not always happening !

• More support is needed for our non-Speaking and non-Verbal people to access Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices.

• Early years programmes need to be individualised and appropriate support implemented. One session weekly for a 6-8 week block is not enough. There needs to be continuity, everyday.

• The Education Authority Autism Advisory and Intervention Service should be accessible to all Autistic children when there is an identified need. SEN Statements must specify this provision is priority!

• Robust parent training in all styles of communication is essential. Too many parents are being left to simply implement supportive strategies, uneducated, uninformed and indeed misinformed. This is unfair. This is negligence!

• Professional and parental collaboration can open the many communication pathways. Our non-Speaking and non-Verbal people have a right to learn. Barriers can be overcome!

We all need to acknowledge and respect the most basic human need is the "Right to communicate."

• Our Health Trusts all need to follow the same guidance . Currently there is an extreme variation in our Trusts and in what they can offer. We seek a regional approach to be considered.

• Access to appropriate medical care, emergency healthcare, including
treatment for co-morbidities and underlying health problems. This would also apply
to all areas including dental care, eye-care.

• Access to appropriate educational interventions and settings from the point of diagnosis.

• Access to appropriate adult services, including residential daycare and vocational settings

• Access to appropriate support from Health Care in all areas and lack of understanding from many healthcare professionals and disability teams offering support to these families.

• Access to specific recreational and leisure facilities / activities need to be provided on a more frequent basis. Collaboration between parents / caregivers / council / disability sports officers and supporting staff is paramount. 

• Financial stress is a major burden especially for carers who cannot work.

• Emotional stress and social isolation within our local communities.

This campaign is not to duplicate the vitally important work of established advocacy organizations and charities that have done amazing work as well as carer groups
in Northern Ireland. And the other efforts in our community because this is going to improve the lives of everyone.

This is to raise a specific concern regarding a true worrying lack of support for those who are nonspeaking/nonverbal and the issues that is being faced daily for those and their loved

This situation for many will not improve until changes are made legally in most if not all areas the reason why we wish to seek a council of legal representatives, parents, other professionals and policies made to support the most vulnerable in society.

Support now
Signatures: 3,289Next Goal: 5,000
Support now


  • Michelle O’NeillSinn Fein