Core Issue: Linguistic accessibility in social services and health care

Transitions such as globalization, digitalization and aging population have changed the nature of work in social services and health cares. The social service and health care organisations and professionals have recognized the need to develop interactional skills along with other competencies in order to guarantee services that are accessible to customers with diverse linguistic resources. The professionals meet linguistically vulnerable customers from a variety of backgrounds, with diverse communicational resources in their everyday work. The goal of this project is to provide the professionals with possibilities to acquire knowledge and skills with which to better linguistic accessibility in both face-to-face and digitally mediated interactional situations.

In the project, the professionals of the partner organisations will join the concrete actions that aim at making services and environments linguistically accessible. The accessibility will be assessed by the customers that are linguistically vulnerable, for example, people with problems in hearing or people who have faced a sudden loss of ability to speak due to an injury.

The goal of the project is to equip the professionals with such skills that promoting and developing linguistic accessibility will become natural part of their work in the future.

The project consists of the following work packages:

  1. Workshops that offer concrete tools for developing one’s interactional skills for meeting customers with diverse communicational resources. The themes of the workshops are tailored to suit each partner organisation.
  2. Workshops on digital services and accessibility, e.g. how to implement the EU Accessibility Directive when designing new digital services.
  3. Mapping problems and developing linguistic accessibility of crucial, concrete places (e.g. a reception).
  4. Testing linguistic accessibility in social services and health care by the test group that consists of people with diverse linguistic backgrounds.
  5. Producing educational and orientation material such as videos and podcasts on linguistic accessibility for new employees.
  6. Creating a competence map and a development tool for the social and health sector.

In addition, the project will inform about its activities and results actively via blogs and videos. Also, a seminar open for all interested participants will be arranged at the end of the project.

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