Language, labels and jargon create confusion, risk and stigma

A Disability and Autism Network Manager previews a session at the Health and Innovation Expo 2019 being staged next week addressing how a few basic changes to how you communicate can lead to better understanding, care and outcomes:

‘Labels are for jars and jargon is for jokers’ is a session that will be run by young people and advocates from Young Minds and Ambitious About Autism.

It will be facilitated by Comedian Jake Mills and will provide a great opportunity to think about why the words we use are so important.

We already know that words are really powerful and they can change the way we think about people and situations, but did you know that just a few small changes can be the difference between feeling trapped in ‘serviceland’ or being an individual and having choice and control?

This session will help to show you this and how to put those changes into practice.

I have a keen interest in the words we use and have done many presentations explaining how words that professionals still think are ok to use actually make people feel unimportant and undervalued, and why society needs to change the culture and attitudes towards the words we use in everyday situations.

Interested? Then join us in theatre five at 11.45am to 1.15pm on day 1 of Expo for ‘Labels are for jars and jargon is for jokers – learning from the experts on how not to talk to and about children and young people’s care’ and be the change you want to see.

  • The 2019 Health and Care Innovation Expo is being staged at Manchester Central on 4 and 5 September and you can register now.
  • Get updates on Twitter @ExpoNHS and join the conversation around Expo 2019 by using the hashtag #Expo19NHS
  • View the agenda for Expo 2019.
Katie Matthews

Katie Matthews is a Learning Disability Network Manager in NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Her team works to improve the engagement between NHS England and Improvement and people with a learning disability, autism, or both and their families and carers.

Her work includes co-producing easy read information to support engagement, quality checking easy read information for colleagues, and promoting accessible communication.

As her team’s social media lead she has responsibility for one of the most important ways of keeping in contact with the network of people interested in the NHS’s work about learning disability and autism.

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