Investigation into event management students’ perception of their role in socially integrating people with aphasia.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: Social integration is reduced in people with aphasia. It is the role of speech and language therapists to help increase this integration. One way in which this can be done is through events, which provide benefits such as companionship and an active sense of participation. Aims: This study aims to investigate event management students’ a) awareness of communication disabilities b) awareness of aphasia c) perception of their role in relation to supporting social integration d) perception of their role in relation to supporting people with communication disabilities, specifically aphasia. Methods and Procedures: A qualitative approach was taken. A focus group was held with five event management students within the second year of their degree. The focus group was transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Outcomes and Results: One participant reported having heard of aphasia, but none demonstrated having basic knowledge of the term. Four core themes were identified within the data: a) thoughts and feelings whilst conversing with people with disabilities, b) perceptions of and attitudes to people with a disability, c) supporting people with a disability, d) the role of the event manager. Conclusions: The study showed that although event management students believe that events should be fully inclusive and also understand the benefits of this for people with disabilities, they require a greater awareness of the needs of people with aphasia. The participants see it as their role to gain further knowledge of disability and to spread awareness within the event, suggesting that teaching on a wider range of disabilities should be included in their training. This could be supported by speech and language therapists.
B.Sc. (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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