Communication Awareness Programme

Communication Awareness Programme

2014/15 Projects

 CAP logo cropped by Leon 27 April 2015

This pilot project aims to promote participation for people with communication impairments in their local community by raising awareness of communication disability among catering staff. 

There is currently no system (online or offline) available for the catering industry to facilitate customers with communication difficulties. The project team will develop and run a pilot training programme for catering staff and certify individuals upon completion. Initially targeting catering staff within NUI Galway and University Hospital Galway, the project then aims to extend to the wider community, and will involve consultation with the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT) and Fáilte Ireland.


Project Team & Links

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Lead student partner: Nicole Guinan
Lead staff partner: Clare Carroll

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Student partners:
Nicole Guinan
Hannah Loughnane
Emma Boyle
Denise Mulheir
Margaret Malarney
Elaine Higgins
Esther Akua Gyamfi

Staff partner:
Clare Carroll
Dr Rena Lyons

Other partners:
Patricia Collins – HSE, Speech & Language Therapist

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CAP on Facebook
CAP on Twitter



Project Updates

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We have held two focus groups with adults with acquired communication disorders about their expeeriences in catering outlets and got fantastic suggestions for how communication can be facilitated, including providing visual images on menus, use of written cues for ordering, the simple act of a waiter repeating back an order to ensure comprehension, altering modes of communication and asking simple yes/no questions to ensure a person’s order was taken correctly.

We have engaged with ARAMARK, the catering company in Galway University Hospital and the hospital’s general catering manager. Both were very interested in participating in our project and were keen to incorporate our training into mandatory staff training projects later this spring

We have received feedback from ARAMARK regarding a company that may produce badges that we intend to provide to staff and companies who participate in our training and are in the process of designing a logo for same. We are in the process of designing our logo and hope to get the pins made once this has been done.

We have contacted the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT) and Failte  Ireland regarding any potential support and mentoring they could provide to our campaign.

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We have liaised with the Enactus Society who are going to provide us with support in areas of finance, marketing, PR, amongst others.
We are presenting at the Enactus Project Launch and AGM tomorrow, showcasing our project to students, academics and business leaders.
The group is currently designing training programmes which will be implemented during training days for catering staff in the hospital which will take place next month.

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We are now co-partnered with Enactus and presented the Communication Awareness Programme at the Enactus Showcase, held recently in the Aula Maxima. We will be entering in the Enactus Ireland National Competition on May 28th.

Prototypes of visual menus for use in the hospital wards are being drawn up by one subteam. Meanwhile our training subteam are prepping our training programme. Our first training session is due to take place April 29th, with our hospital catering staff receiving training the following week.

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Artice by
Chris Newell