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This page last updated: 29th February 2012
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How Equality Act 2010 applies to adult communication impairments in Britain

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This website has been produced by the
Communications Forum.
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Links on SLCN

This page gives web links on adult speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). The links on the page focus particularly on conditions dealt with on this website.

Links on particular disorders

A note on the terms 'developmental' and 'acquired' -

  • 'developmental' means it is a disorder affecting a child's development
  • 'acquired' means caused by an event after birth - e.g. an accident or illness such as a stroke or cancer.


Aphasia and dysphasia are now used to mean the same thing. Aphasia is a disorder of language. The person's ability to understand and/or express words is affected. Aphasia can affect the understanding of speech, reading, speaking, writing, gesture and signing. People sometimes describe their difficulty as "knowing what they want to say but being unable to remember the words." Aphasia can be acquired or developmental. Aphasia does not affect the person's general intelligence. The type of difficulties vary from one person to another.

Cerebral palsy

A condition that affects muscle control and movement.Usually caused by an injury to the brain before, during or after birth. It can affect speech to a greater or lesser extent. AAC (below) may be required.


A speech / language disorder characterised by abnormal fluency which is not stuttering, and a rapid and / or irregular speech rate.


Surgical removal of the larynx (voice box) usually due to cancer.

Motor neurone disease (MND)

Degeneration of the motor neurones leading to progressive disability, including difficulties with speech

Specific Language Impairment (SLI)

Difficulty in understanding and / or using spoken language in the absence of other types of disability.

Stammering (or stuttering)

Stammering and stuttering are used to mean the same thing - a communication impairment which can affect the way the person who stammers relates to the world. Many stammering 'symptoms' such as avoiding particular words or situations cannot be heard. Stammering speech itself is characterised by 'involuntary interruptions' (usually repetitions of sounds or words), 'prolongations' (where the person extends a sound) and 'blocks' (where the person is unable to produce a particular sound).

Voice disorders

Disorders affecting the larynx.


Augmentative and Alternative Communication: a means of communication to support or replace speech. For example, pictures, signing, alphabet board or electronic devices such as a computer or electronic communication aid.

Further links