Supporting Students with Complex Communication Needs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


All human beings have the right to communicate. We communicate using speech, writing, gestures, facial expressions, pictures and, today, the new media of online social technologies. Communication is a two-way interaction between two or more individuals where there is a sender and a receiver of a message. Communication is fundamental to our existence; we communicate to share our joys and sadness, our needs and wants, to learn and to demonstrate our knowledge, and to feel a sense of belonging through sharing stories and information. Education in the twenty-first century involves teaching a diverse group of learners. This can involve learners with severe communication impairments, resulting in limited or no speech for everyday communication. Imagine what this means for anyone, especially a student! A typical classroom requires learners to communicate in a variety of ways through their writing, drawing, reading, speaking, listening and understanding. Students need to be able to interact with their teachers and peers for educational and social participation. Education is about students acquiring literacy and numeracy skills, as well as knowledge and skills in many other areas to prepare them for lifelong learning and employment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiversity, Inclusion and Engagement
EditorsMervyn Hyde, Shelley Dole, Kathleen Tait
Place of PublicationDocklands, Victoria
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages37
EditionFourth Edition
ISBN (Electronic)9780190329495
ISBN (Print)9780190329488
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • communication
  • diverse learners
  • Communication impairment
  • inclusive education
  • complex communication needs
  • Lifelong learning


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