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Collaboration and Conversation Partners City Health

Key information

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Course code:
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Application deadline:
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Course overview

This course will equip you with the tools and training to set up a volunteer supported conversation service to meet the needs of people, often hardest to reach, who have long-term communication disability and are isolated within their own homes.

The toolkit includes:

  • ideas for how to recruit volunteers and volunteer trainers
  • Training packages for both volunteers and trainers with aphasia
  • guidelines for best practice
  • advice sheets for volunteers out in the field
  • tips to address risk management
  • examples of referral procedures and letters
  • ideas and questionnaires to help you evaluate the scheme

You will learn, practice and discuss the process with others and then use the toolkit (manuals, handouts, video/DVD and CD-Rom) - yours to take away and implement in your setting. You will fine-tune your own skills and you will leave with the skills to guide and train others in your work place.

This course has been extensively researched and developed in collaboration with people living with stroke and aphasia and piloted with service providers across the UK and Eire.

Course outcomes

Course outcomes

  • You will gain practical ideas for reducing the isolation of those living with communication disability – often the most hard-to-reach clients
  • You will revisit your communication skills with people with communication disability
  • You will learn how to train others to improve their skills
  • You will learn how to work in partnership with trainers with aphasia to enhance your service
  • You will learn how to recruit, supervise, manage and support volunteers to develop their skills
  • You will gain skills to successfully manage the organisation and administration needed for the scheme
  • You will learn how to evaluate the scheme and report back to others

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

McVicker, S., Parr, S & Pound, C., Duchan, J. (2009). The Communication Partner Scheme: A project to develop long term, low cost access to conversation for people living with aphasia. Aphasiology, 23 (1) 52-71.

French, S. (1994). On equal terms: Working with disabled people. London : Heinemann Butterworth.

Kagan, A. (1995).  Revealing the competence of aphasic adults through conversation: A challenge to health professionals. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation ,2,1,15-28.

Kagan, A. (1998) Supported conversation for adults with aphasia: methods and resources for training conversation partners. Aphasiology,12,816-830.