Speakability is a key member of the Aphasia Alliance. This is a UK-wide coalition of 11 organisations working with people who have Aphasia. Their vision is a world where everyone with Aphasia receives the support and understanding they need.
As part of their campaign, the Aphasia Alliance commissioned a survey to measure levels of awareness of Aphasia among the general public. The UK-wide survey revealed widespread ignorance and public misconception about what constitutes a disability. Physical indicators such as ‘using a wheelchair’ and ‘using a walking stick’ are widely recognised but a worrying 72% of people did not mention those affecting communication, such as Aphasia as something that would suggest a disability.
This is despite the fact that there are an estimated 250,000 people in the UK currently living with Aphasia and a further 50,000 developing it each year – the equivalent of one person every 11 minutes.
The GfK NOP survey reveals startlingly low levels of public awareness about such a prevalent disability: over 90% of people have never even heard of Aphasia. The vast majority of the population (nearly 80%) do not know that Aphasia is a communication disability, with many people confusing it with other, unrelated medical conditions or even as a type of fruit.
Aphasia Alliance Spokesperson, Carole Pound explains, "This survey shows that people fail to consider disabilities that are not visibly identifiable and indicates a general lack of awareness about communication disability. In the last few years we have seen enormous advances made to help people with physical impairments, such as ramp access and lifts in buildings. However, communication access and communication support has not been high on the agenda and this needs to change."
"The Aphasia Alliance seeks to increase public awareness of Aphasia and our campaign aims to ensure people understand that Aphasia is a hidden disability affecting a huge number of people of all ages across the UK."
To find out more about the campaign, please follow this link.