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Breaking the barriers

Breaking the barriers - communication with people with profound and multiple learning disabilities

This Learning Byte draws on information from a range of sources on the communication needs of people with profound and multiple learning disability (PMLD). It looks at the communication barriers they often experience and explores techniques and tools to support meaningful interactions.

What is a Learning Byte?
It’s an alternative to a traditional, structured, beginning-to-end course that is available in bite¬-sized chunks in the workplace. You can access it in different ways – on a PC or mobile device, for instance – and at any time.

Who’s it for?
We’ve developed this Learning Byte for students not only of learning disabilities nursing, but also those from all other fields of nursing – adult, mental health and children’s. It will also be relevant for any staff who work with people with PMLD.

What will it give me?
The Learning Byte provides you with a brief guide to communication with people with PMLD.

By the time you’ve completed it, you will:

• understand the different and highly individual ways in which people with PMLD communicate
• reflect on your practice and how you can develop skills to enable people with PMLD in different care settings to experience positive social interaction and maximise their communication potential
• understand how the communication skills of someone with PMLD can lead to him or her being socially disadvantaged and deprived of opportunities to communicate preferences and choices
• accumulate evidence to help you remove communication barriers and enable service users to be active participants in their care and support.