30 July 2022
Speech and language therapists from Hywel Dda University Health Board will proudly unveil four new bespoke communication boards at the National Eisteddfod this week, in what promises to be a new and exciting partnership.
Following the success of the boards at playgrounds across Ceredigion, the team from Hywel Dda have worked with a group of adults with Learning Disabilities within the health board region to identify words they felt would be useful, which reflect the specific communication needs for the Eisteddfod including key places and activities. The boards will be suitable for anyone with a communication difficulty including children and adults, and support anyone to learn Welsh words whilst at the event.
As well as the four boards, which will be on display across the Maes, the team has also created a PDF that will be incorporated within the Eisteddfod App. Our hope is that this exciting project could be expanded over the coming years to include further visual resources and useful signs to support inclusion and raise awareness of hidden disabilities.
Last month Julie Morgan MS, Deputy Minister for Social Services, visited Aberystwyth to see the county’s Communication Boards, the first of its kind launched in Wales, in partnership with Ceredigion County Council and with funding from Welsh Government.
And in December 2021, Libby Jeffries and Mererid Jones, Clinical Lead Speech and Language Therapists, received a Giving Voice award by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) for their work on the boards, which recognises how speech and language therapy transforms lives and celebrates innovative activity and achievements demonstrated by therapists across the UK
Mererid said: “We are very excited to be able to work with the Eisteddfod on this project, to create the first communication friendly Eisteddfod and festival of its kind. We are hoping to showcase how festivals could easily make their events more communication friendly to become more inclusive.”
Eisteddfod Chief Executive, Betsan Moses, added: “The Eisteddfod prides itself on being a festival that offers a warm welcome to everyone. Ensuring that the Eisteddfod continues to be an accessible and inclusive event is crucial to us as an organisation, and to our visitors. We’re delighted to work with the team at Hywel Dda University Health Board, to provide a platform for the communication boards on the Maes and our App, and bring greater inclusivity to this year’s Eisteddfod.”
For the latest from the health board’s stand and the Eisteddfod Maes, you can follow Hywel Dda University Health Board on Twitter @HywelDdaHB, Facebook – Hywel Dda Health Board, and Instagram @hywelddauhb or follow the conversation at #HywelOnTheMaes and #IechydDaHywelDda.