St. Michael’s House is delighted to announce the launch of an exciting new initiative with our longstanding charity partner Dundrum Town Centre.
The ‘Total Communication Project’ is an approach that recognises that people communicate in many different ways, including through the use of spoken language, body language, sign, pictures and use of technology. It identifies that all of these different modes of communication are equal and valued. With the support and guidance of staff and service users in St. Michael’s House, Dundrum Town Centre aims to create a more inclusive customer experience and promote social inclusion for people with additional communication needs.
The project will focus on people and place. St. Michael’s House Speech and Language Therapists will deliver a bespoke training package to help staff across the Centre become more aware of the needs of people with disabilities. This will provide baseline Total Communication knowledge and skills to support customers with additional communication needs in the shopping centre. A cohort of service users from St. Michael’s House will take on field research and identify changes in the overall environment that will support people to navigate the shopping experience also. Proposed recommendations including signage, visual supports and accessible information will be included and a plan will be implemented to address the areas identified for adaption to promote accessibility and inclusion.
Following completion of this project, Dundrum Town Centre will be the first shopping centre in Dublin that is actively promoting the use of a Total Communication approach to ensure that different modes of communication are recognised, used and respected.
**Fifty staff members will be trained to enhance customer experience**
**Dundrum Town Centre will be the first shopping centre in Dublin to adopt this approach**
The project will be implemented in phases from November 2021 to the middle of 2022.
Jacqui McDonnell, Acting Head of Communications and Fundraising at St. Michael’s House said:
“St. Michael’s House is delighted to launch this partnership with our charity partner Dundrum Town Centre. Over the next few months, our staff and service users will work with our partners to examine the type of communication support that is needed in a community shopping centre setting. We are proud to be driving this important initiative to ensure the needs of all people with disabilities are recognised and that they receive support in the community.”
Don Nugent, Centre Director, at Dundrum Town Centre said:
“We are delighted to join forces with our longstanding charity partner, St Michael’s House, on this important initiative and to further support individuals with complex needs. We hope that this project will have a positive impact on our customers and improve accessibility of the centre. We look forward to working with the team to promote a more inclusive environment.”
Following on from this, a group of nominated staff members from across the centre will complete Lámh Module 1 facilitated by St Michael’s House Lámh Tutors as an additional level of training and these staff member will become Lámh Champions for the centre in 2022.