Speak With IT are a charity supporting people with aphasia across Yorkshire and are looking to recruit volunteers to join the exciting Speech Therapy programme. We assist patients suffering from aphasia to recover their verbal communication ability, this maintains their ability to influence their environment, maintain social relationships and improve their quality of life.
Speak With IT are currently recruiting volunteers to participate in their videocall scheme, which supports clients with aphasia (a speech and communication disorfer) to use computer therapy over the videocalling platform, Zoom. Volunteers will be provided with their own Zoom login through which they will schedule appointments with the client they are matched with. Appointments will consist of practicing speech therapy techniques using approved apps and supported conversation to assist the client in achieving functional goals around their speech and communication.
Ideally volunteers will have a caseload of clients (usually between 2-3) whom they will support on a regular basis, with appointments taking place at least on a monthly basis. Hours are not set so these appointments can be organised around your convenience, though it is common that our clients experience stroke related fatigue, meaning morning appointments are usually preferable.
Prior to matching, all volunteers will receive training detailing what aphasia is, its general effects, useful supported conversation techniques and how to effectively use speech therapy apps. The majority of our client referrals come from NHS speech and language therapists, though we do accept self-referrals from individuals and carers of people with aphasia. Every client comes with an assessment of their strengths and requirements, as well as recommendations on what software and exercises to focus on.
Volunteers are vital to providing support for our clients, many of whom are no longer eligible for speech therapy on the NHS. The support you provide will be a lifeline, not only giving the opportunity for our clients' to improve their speech and communication, but also the chance to socialise whilst many of our vulnerable clients have opted to shield.
Speak With IT will be running a concurrent face-to-face service from the 21st September for clients who are unable to access videocalls. Local restrictions will be taken into account in all matching scenarios, but for volunteers who are eligible and have expressed an interest, they will be matched with a client to visit at home to work on speech therapy apps in a socially distanced face-to-face setting.