About Us – What is icommunicate?
Welcome to our website. So, what about us? If you are new to the site you may be wondering what it is all about? icommunicate is all about communication. My goal is to improve communication and the communication potential of everyone; because communication is a basic human right.
My name is Johan Langfield and I am a Speech and Language Pathologist-Therapist with many years of experience working with both children and adults with speech, language and communication difficulties. I developed the icommunicate website because I continually observed a lack of funding and services for individuals with communication difficulties. This website is dedicated to enhancing Speech, Language and Communication for all. I want to provide speech-language therapy information and activities for adults and children, with any type of communication difficulty or disorder. As well as helping individuals with communication difficulties, I want to provide information for parents and teachers about how they can develop and enhance their children’s speech and language skills. icommunicate provides a wealth of information about a wide variety of speech and language disorders (such as apraxia, phonological delay, aphasia, dysarthria, stuttering etc), communication development, hearing impairment, autism, brain injury, stroke and acquired adult communication difficulties, special needs and learning difficulties, and assistive communication (AAC).
For those adults and children currently working with a speech and language therapist / pathologist, I hope this site will provide extra resources and activities to work in conjunction with an established speech therapy schedule, or to provide individuals with the necessary resources to make some progress independently, from the comfort of your own home, at your own pace. It is not my intention to replace face to face speech therapy, but I hope the information and resources provided on this website will help individuals make progress and achieve their communication goals.
Most of us take communication for granted because it’s so easy. But for millions of people around the world it isn’t easy. Communication is an amazingly complex art made up of our eyes, our ears, our brain, our voice, and our body movements, and when something happens to one of these vital components we discover how hard communication is.
The reasons I built the icommunicate website are the same reasons I decided to become a speech and language pathologist, I want to make a difference in peoples lives, and I want to change things for the better. I want to improve your child’s speech difficulty, I want to help you find a way for your parent to communicate following a stroke, I want to help your autistic child understand what is happening when his lesson changes at school, I want to teach the person with learning disabilities to make choices for themselves.
In many countries, speech therapy is a scarce resource and many people do not have the finances to get private therapy. It is often difficult to get appropriate professional help when you have a communication disorder. Sometimes there are long waiting lists just to get an initial consultation with a speech and language therapist / pathologist. Maybe you already have access to speech and language therapy but it is only once a week or less. Hopefully, you can use this website to get more information, share experiences with other users, use some of the resources to work in conjunction with an established speech therapy schedule, or to provide you with the necessary knowledge to make some progress independently. It is not my intention to replace face to face speech therapy, but I hope the information and resources provided on this website will help individuals make progress and achieve their communication goals. The advancement of technology and the internet means we now have the capability to reach out to many more people.
Why do we need a site like icommunicate?
Communication difficulties effect millions of people worldwide:
- It is estimated that 1 in 10 Americans, across all ages, races and genders, has experienced or lived with some type of communication disorder.
- There are over 15 million individuals who stutter in the world.
- Autism affects 46 million people around the world.
- According to American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA):
- In 2003 1.5 million children served in the public schools under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, received services for speech or language disorders. This estimate does not include children who have speech/language problems secondary to other conditions.
- Specific Language Impairment is one of the most common childhood disorders, affecting 7% of children.
- Dyslexia is estimated to affect 10 to 15 per cent of the population
The National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders states that:
- Approximately 7.5 million people in the United States have trouble using their voices
- The prevalence of speech sound disorders in young children is 8 to 9 percent. By the first grade, roughly 5 percent of children have noticeable speech disorders
- Between 6 and 8 million people in the U.S. have some form of language impairment
- It is estimated that approximately 80,000 individuals acquire aphasia each year. About 1 million people in the U.S. currently have aphasia
My vision and goal is to provide information, ideas, strategies and programs through video presentations, resources, articles and downloads. These resources will facilitate adults and children with a wide range of communication difficulties. By allowing people with a communication difficulty, disorder or delay, to communicate their needs, thoughts and feelings we can create a greater level of inclusion and greatly enhance independence and quality of life. I will also offer ideas, information and activities to parents who just want to enhance their children’s speech and language development in those critical early years.
Speech and Language Therapist / Pathologist and founder of the icommunicate website
I Qualified from University College London in 2000 with a BSc (Hons) in Speech Sciences. I immediately started working as a Speech and Language Therapist with a diverse client group including adult and child speech and language difficulties, adult stroke, voice disorders, and adults with learning disabilities. I have worked in several countries and specialised in a number of fields including child speech and language disorders, hearing impairment, brain injury, autism, assistive communication (AAC), and dyslexia and literacy difficulties.
In 2007, with the help of my father, I began to work on the idea of building a comprehensive website where people could share information and resources relating to communication difficulties.
I currently live with my wife in Melbourne, Australia and work for the Department of Education and Training.
The site provides a comprehensive catalogue of information regarding communication and communication disorders, and this will continue to grow. I am working on increasing the number of downloadable resources and video tutorials that can be used in conjunction with speech therapy schedules and exercises given by your existing speech and language therapists / pathologists. I will also be providing an online speech therapy service.
I am keen to hear from anyone who has a question, a story, a useful tool or activity, or some knowledge that can help others. Through the Teacher, and Speech Therapist pages I hope that others will share their information so that everyone can benefit. We only have limited resources at icommunicate so I need you to share your knowledge and help the site to grow and develop. You can contact us and share information on our Facebook page.
So it’s all about communication!! Communication information, programs, resources, and sharing of ideas, so that everyone has the opportunity to be included, to make choices, to express their needs and feelings, to have independence, and to have a better quality of life.
Director and Senior Therapist – icommunicate Therapy Ltd.
What other people are saying about our site:
Congratulations on your website icommunicate. I am interested in information for families raising a deaf child and have found the information on the website comprehensive and parent-friendly. I would encourage anyone interested in speech and language difficulties to see what the site has to offer them. Thank you for giving us permission to share it with families in Australia.
Aussie Deaf Kids
This web site is an excellent resource for the stroke or brain injury home caregiver who is dealing with a patient who has communication challenges (i.e. speaking and listening). Here the non-professional caregiver will find understandable explanations of the various kinds of disabilities, as well as therapeutic exercises and suggested approaches that could be included in a home rehab program. For those of us who have virtually no medical training, this is an excellent resource with an on-line forum, moderated by a professional therapist. As a “brain” caregiver, I know how helpful it is to know what the professionals consider a therapeutic challenge, so that I can readjust my expectations for my patient’s recovery and deal more realistically with the problems I encounter on a daily basis.
Madonna Siles, C.P.C. Author — Eureka! Memories and Motivations and Brain, Heal Thyself