Supported Decision-making Series: Supporting choice and control when a person does not use words to communicate - Summer Foundation
Group 3

Supported Decision-making Series: Supporting choice and control when a person does not use words to communicate

Location:  Online Webinar (National)

  • Online - 22 June
    Wednesday 22 June, 2022
    1:30 pm AEST - 3:00 pm AEST

People with complex communication needs and who do not have a formal means of communication are often not consulted in decisions about their lives. Understanding how a person wants to live their life when they do not use words to communicate can be challenging, and few in the sector have strategies for supporting communication and decision-making with this cohort.

The webinar is the first in our Supported Decision-making series and takes a rights-based approach to communication access and support for decision-making, with a focus on home and living situations. 

After attending this workshop you will have a better understanding of working with people with complex communication needs and how you can demonstrate leadership in supporting communication rights, choice and control and supported decision-making.

Join UpSkill and our panel of experts as we discuss:  

  • Strategies for working directly with people without formal communication; discovering their ‘will and preferences’ 
  • How we can develop the expectation that people will be supported in decision-making about their home life and lifestyle regardless of their communication abilities
  • Expectations that people with complex communication needs have access to communication aids and support to communicate as part of their daily life
  • How we can demonstrate leadership in upholding the rights of people who have complex communication needs

Meet your panel:

Jaquie Mills – parent, advocate and Managing Director at Microboards Australia 

Jaquie is a parent of 4 boys, 2 of whom have a disability. A former teacher, she holds a Masters in Emotional Intelligence. Jaquie has held significant roles in the disability sector leading major reform in access to quality services for people with complex needs and who may also have complex communication needs. Jaquie has exhaustive knowledge across the fields of behaviour support, communication, inclusion, education and health advocacy. She is regularly sought for her advice and expertise in these areas. Jaquie is a truly amazing person who gives her all to ensure people with a disability live an inspiring life.

Joanne Watson – Speech Pathologist and academic at Deakin University

Joanne (Jo) Watson, PhD has practiced as a Speech Pathologist, researcher, and lecturer in the disability sector for 30 years. Jo has an extensive national and international profile, having lived, practiced, taught, and engaged in research while in Hong Kong, China, Australia, and the USA.  

Jo’s research is focused on supporting people with intellectual disability and complex communication support needs to live self-determined lives and is fuelled by a steadfast commitment to equality. Jo is unwavering in her conviction that human communication is central to enabling people with disability to achieve their human right of autonomy. She believes that the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which Australia is a signatory, provides humanity with an unprecedented mechanism with which universal autonomy can be achieved, not only for people who communicate using language, but for people who communicate informally, a group she believes are ‘rarely heard’.  

Alicia Gorman – Speech Pathologist

Alicia is a Speech Pathologist who has worked in multimodal communication for 15 years. Alicia has a special interest working with people who have complex communication needs, particularly with multimodal communication, literacy skills, supported decision-making and accessible information. She has completed training in the Four Blocks Literacy Approach, Advanced PODD Workshop, and keeps up to date with communication device options. Alicia is currently completing a M(Phil) at Curtin University in WA exploring strategies for adults with a disability to make decisions with support. During her career as a speech pathologist, Alicia has worked in private practice, as a senior clinician and therapy coordinator in a community disability support organisation. Alicia is passionate about communication and currently works in her private practice, Younique Therapy, with a small team of wonderful therapists.

Who is this for: 

  • Support coordinators
  • NDIS allied health professionals
  • Advocates


$59 incl GST

 We will provide a limited number of free tickets to NDIS participants and families. Please email for more information.

The session will be hosted via zoom. After booking, you will receive a pre-reminder email a few days prior to the webinar with the zoom log-in details.

UpSkill is an initiative of the Summer Foundation.


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