Short on time?

Get essay writing help

Barriers And Strategies For Effective Communication

  • Words: 1152
  • |
  • Pages: 3
  • This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.


Communication is the exchange of information/ ideas or messages between parties who have a mutual interest. This can occur through the different types or methods of communication either verbally (using sound) or non-verbally (e.g. use of gestures, facial expressions eye contact).

(O’ Toole, 2016) states that here are many reasons why we communicate. According to O’toole, we communicate to meet our physical, identity, instrumental or relational needs. However, it is a common occurrence for messages to be passed across between a sender and a receiver, but they fail to understand each other. (O’Toole )2016 alludes that for effective communication to occur, there must be a mutual understanding of the message between the sender and the receiver. If we are to meet the above stated needs. It is imperative to note, that sometimes a breakdown of communication or ineffective communication occurs due to factors that are beyond the control of the sender or receiver. These factors could either be external or internal.

In this report, we shall look at some of the barriers for effective communication for people living with disabilities what we can do to communicate effectively so that their needs are met.

World Health Organisation defines a disability as limitation that causes an individual not to be able to participate fully in everyday activities due to an impairment that is either physical, cognitive, neurological or imputed impairment. (‘Disabilities’, n.d.). According to the Australian Network on Disability, over 4 million people in Australia have some form of disability. That’s 1 in 5 people. (‘Disability Statistics’, n.d.)

While people with disabilities may have complex needs due to their impairments, their basic human right to express themselves and be understood must be met according to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with disabilities (UNCRPD). (‘Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) | United Nations Enable’, n.d.) While there has been commendable progress to reducing and eliminating barriers for people with disabilities in terms of accessibility, employment and empowering them, there is still a lot of barriers when it comes to communicating effectively with people with disabilities. Imagine how your world would be if you are not able to communicate? This is the case for most people living with disabilities, which greatly affects their quality of life. While there are many barriers that affect communication for people living with disabilities ranging from physical to environmental or attitudinal barriers. In this report we will look at the attitudinal barriers that focus on the “disability “and not the person.

Barriers to effective communication

Negative or condescending attitudes- Most people with disabilities are treated as superhuman when they do everyday tasks such as getting milk from the shops. They are just as capable and as independent as everyone else even though they have adapted a different way of doing things with skills that they have developed.

Ignorance and assumptions- People assume that the person with a certain disability is incompetent or incapable of understanding due to their disability. For example, people assume that they are unable to make decisions because they cannot express themselves verbally.

Fear of making mistakes or offending the person with the disability- With the societal narrative that exists towards people with disability, it is perceived to be a daunting experience to communicate with a person who has a disability for the first time. Consequently, most people avoid contact with person who has a disability by thinking they might do or say something that might offend the person with the disability.

Patronising the person with the disabilities- When an adult with disability is asked a question that concerns them whilst in the company of another person, most people assume they can’t speak for themselves and speak on their behalf without consulting them or offer help when they have not requested for the help.

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay
  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee
Place Order

Blanket assumptions- The notion that just because an individual has one disability, then he must be totally impaired. E.g. some people speak loudly to a blind person by assuming they can’t hear well just because they can’t see.

From the above observations, its imperative that we address these barriers and have strategies that would help us communicate effectively with people living with disabilities.

Strategies for effective communication

Respect- Individuals must act in a manner that acknowledges the worth of the other person regardless of their disability and treats them as you would any other human being. O’Toole,2016, P.157). When faced with decision making, accord them extra time as you would anyone else, who can verbalise that they need more time to decide. Speak to the person directly and don’t talk about them as if they are not there.

Wait for consent- While its perfectly okay to offer anyone assistance, just like you would anyone else, you must wait for your help to be accepted by the person with the disability. You must also ask, if you are not sure on how to assist, that way the individual feels listened to and can communicate their needs in an accurate and personalised manner. Whether its offering to push a wheelchair or lead someone who is blind. You must ask if they need your help.

Ask questions- Don’t be afraid to ask if you are not sure. For example, if a person has a disability and is unable to communicate verbally, ask them how they prefer to communicate. They might say they use an Alternative communication aid or a communication device. Don’t assume and use sign language if you haven’t clarified their preferred method of communication if you don’t know.

Clarify when you don’t understand- For example some people with speech impairments might find it difficult to articulate words clearly. Ask them to repeat gain if you don’t understand. Don’t pretend to understand as this can be patronizing.

Bearing in mind the complex communication needs that people living with disability may have, there are reasonable adjustments that have been made for people living with disabilities in terms of resources that aid in effective communication. I will just name a few resources that people with disabilities would need are;

Alternative and Augmentative communication- These are aids that so not need human speech. For example, AUSLAN (Australian Sign Language etc appropriate to the different types of disability .Education and information on resources for the family and friends or support staff for people living with disabilities to be able to understand and communicate effectively with them and address the communication barriers.


Everyone has a right and need to express themselves and be listened to and understood. People with disabilities are no exception. Availing adaptive resources for people with complex communication needs will aid in breaking down communication barriers and cause effective communication to occur. This will in turn enrich the quality of life and general wellbeing for people living with disabilities.


  1. Disability Statistics. Retrieved from
  2. Disabilities. Retrieved from
  3. O’ Toole, G. (2016). Communication Core interpersonal skills for health professionals (3rd ed., pp. 3,4,5,7). New South Wales: Elsevier.
  4. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) | United Nations Enable. Retrieved from

Make sure you submit a unique essay

Our writers will provide you with an essay sample written from scratch: any topic, any deadline, any instructions.

Cite this Page

Barriers And Strategies For Effective Communication. (2021, September 13). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from
“Barriers And Strategies For Effective Communication.” Edubirdie, 13 Sept. 2021,
Barriers And Strategies For Effective Communication. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 8 Feb. 2023].
Barriers And Strategies For Effective Communication [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 13 [cited 2023 Feb 8]. Available from:
Join 100k satisfied students
  • Get original paper written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most
hire writer

Fair Use Policy

EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via

Check it out!
search Stuck on your essay?

We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.