Awareness Week

2019 Communication Accessibility Awards

The 2019 NZSTA, in collaboration with the Minister of Disability Issues, Communication Accessibility Award has been awarded to several individuals and organisations who were observed demonstrating the following Communication Accessible Principles:

  • Awareness and knowledge
  • Attitude
  • Competency
  • Information
  • Environment

We are honoured to announce the 2019 award winners:

  • Aimee Taylor for her outstanding communication access skills at Christchurch Hospital
  • Andrew Stubbs, Vanessa Hendry, Ness Ahkiong, Steve Nippert, & Wendy Wimsett at Porirua School for their dedication and commitment to respecting all forms of student communication
  • Coffee Culture in Lincoln for offering an accessible experience to people with aphasia
  • Dr Ciandra Keenan for her excellent communication accessibility skills on display during patient care
  • Dr Meera Raithatha for her ongoing commitment communication accessibility when providing patient care and for sharing this work with others in her profession
  • Hannah Barnes for organising blenders and accessible food for the Spectrum Care Ball
  • HOYTS Cinemas for their sensory screening
  • Hutt Hospital Café for ensuring that patrons with communication needs have the time and respect they need
  • Jocelyn Faalavelave for her dedication to ensuring that visual supports and communication supports are always on hand
  • Mike Dyer for his work with his local communication group
  • NZ Police for their text 111 initiative to ensure that this vital service is to those who find the phone difficult
  • Pataka Art & Museum for their commitment to accommodate people with aphasia
  • Pukeahu National War Memorial Park (Dr. Emma Kelly, Paul Riley, Tim Hurd) for their commitment to accommodate people with aphasia
  • Sian Van Dyk at Dowse Art Museum for their commitment to accommodate people with aphasia
  • Station One Cafe in Christchurch
  • Teacher Aides at Dargaville Primary School
  • Youth Horizons Trust for updating forms, communication procedures, and brochures to be more accessible
  • Zampelles Cafe – Queensgate Mall for making it easy for people who use AAC to order food

If you would like to reflect on the communication accessibility at your own workplace, here is our self-audit checklist.  We’ll be accepting 2020 nominations during the Giving Voice Awareness Week.


Awareness Week 2019 NZSTA Press Release

Please see the 2019 NZSTA Press Release for Awareness Week.

NZSLT Champions

Champion Lead:
Georgia Holibar
Communications Executive:
Shannon Hennig
Auckland Champion:
Alison Paulin
Auckland Region
Northland Champion:
Natasha Correa
Northland Region
Dunedin Champion:
Warren Cossou
Dunedin Champion:
Alison Zani

Why get involved

Passionate about the rights of people with communication and swallowing needs?

Wanting to get involved in a campaign that makes a difference today, and tomorrow?

Get behind this campaign and help spread the word – everyone has the right to life essentials.

Show how your service works in partnership to enhance lives.

Giving Voice is a vehicle for you to use to share your knowledge and experience, enabling you to be proactive in engaging with local decision makers to inform service design and innovation.

Get on board and strengthen partnerships with our clients and communities, and education, health, social, and justice colleagues.

We need all members to be Giving Voice campaigners

You can get involved by:

  • Engaging with your regional NZSTA awareness champion
  • Engaging clients and other Speech-language Therapists’ in the campaign
  • Engaging and influencing local decision-makers like local MPs
  • Feedback to NZSTA on the success of your local campaigning, as well as the usefulness of the online resources

Ideas to get you started

Show off your service: Invite local politicians to see the work you do and how important it is to your service users. Engage the directors of your organisation in the work you do to support your clients and their whanau.

Combine the campaign with existing activities planned for your service: Use the Giving Voice Aotearoa logo and brand to help promote the importance of communication in everyday life and life essentials.

Raise awareness: Raise awareness amongst your department colleagues and organisation to ensure that doctors, social workers, teachers, physios and other members of your team understand the powerful impact of appropriate communication strategies for those who want to participate, but who struggle with everyday communication.

Collaborate with other local therapists and your local NZSTA champions to run awareness raising events. The community will be interested to know what services are available.