Communication Partners and Assistance
At Equality Lawyers, we recognise that people have different ways of communicating. Using Auslan, communication devices or even a mix of verbal language and other communication techniques can be common for some people with disabilities. When talking to your lawyer, it is really important that you are able to communicate effectively and in your preferred way. Not only is important that we understand you, but also that you understand us. When accessing our Services, we encourage people to have a Communication Partner or Communication Assistance to help facilitate communication between you and your lawyer.
To make the process a little easier (and hopefully less paperwork!), we have a great relationship with Two Way Street who specialise in communication needs for people with disabilities. Two Way Street can provide a Communication Partner or expert advice to your lawyer on the Communication Assistance needed to make sure that there is effective communication happening between you and your lawyer. You can read more about Two Way Street here.
If you would like a Communication Partner or Communication Assistance, all you have to do is let us know! You can let us know before your First Appointment or during the Appointment. We will then connect you with Two Way Street to organise a Communication Partner or provide Communication Assistance throughout your case.
The Questions Everyone Asks...
What is a Communication Partner?
A Communication Partner is a specifically trained person that can facilitate your communication. Communication Partners are commonly developmental educations, speech pathologists or Occupational Therapists. The Communication Partner is might go to meetings or go to court with you to help you to communicate.
Does it cost money?
Yes, Communication Partners charge professional fees for their services. However, NDIS Participants can use their NDIS funding to pay for the service. Equality Lawyers and Two Way Street will discuss the cost implications with you at the outset.
I usually have my family member/friend help me to communicate. Is that ok?
Having someone close to you assist with your communication can be preferred, especially if that is how you are used to communicating in all areas of your life. We don't want to disrupt that, but we want you to feel comfortable and we understand that you might tell your lawyer some things that you would rather that close person didn't hear. We will ask you what your preference is and let you know if we have any concerns about having someone close to you involved.
I do not know if I need a Communication Partner. What do I do?
If you are unsure about whether a Communication Partner would be right for you, just let us know. We can put you in touch with Two Way Street who know all things communication and will be able to let you know what would be helpful when talking to your lawyer or going to court.