Supporting People’s Communication Needs Course

We have been working in partnership with Community Justice Scotland to develop an online course that is intended to assist all professionals working in the justice system to better support people’s communication needs.  This piece of work was unfortunately disrupted by the impact of Covid restrictions, however, we are delighted to announce that the course is now complete and ready to launch.

The effectiveness of communication is one of the very key components of fair and equal access to justice, and of any of us being able to participate fully in justice processes and feel we have had fair treatment.  This point was reiterated by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, in their recent report, Inclusive Justice: a system designed for all:

“Defendants or accused people must be able to understand and be involved in the criminal proceedings of which they are a part.” EHRC, 2020

Yet a common complaint from cognitively impaired people continues to be that they struggled to understand what was happening:

“Court is really confusing.  It’s like they do it deliberately, they use all big words that you’ve never heard before; the whole process is complicated and it’s hard to know what’s going on.  When it comes to your turn to speak your head is spinning and you just don’t want to say something wrong or that will make you look daft.  I find it hard explaining stuff normally but in court it was impossible.”  SOLD User Group Member

This online course is one more part of the collaborative effort to support all those working in justice to make its systems and processes more accessible for everyone who uses them.  We wish to thank all those people who gave up their time and worked with us on this project.

Supporting People’s Communication Needs has been developed in partnership with Community Justice Scotland. The course is for people working in the justice sector and aims to enhance understanding of how to meet communication needs. The learning objectives are;

  • Recognise when people need support with communication needs
  • Adapt communication styles and methods to meet people with communication difficulties needs
  • Identify good practice in meeting communication needs in your own area of work
  • Identify how other justice professionals adapt their practices to support communication needs

How to access the course

Supporting People’s Communication Needs has been created and is managed on Google Classrooms. To access and use the materials, you need a Google account. You do not need to sign up to have a Gmail account as part of your Google account. If you have a Google account you can access the course via the link below, or by using the code below.

Link:   Google Classroom Supporting People’s Communication Needs
Class Code: bqqqzny

Instructions on how to access Google Classroom.
Join a class as a student – Computer – Classroom Help (

Further guidance and support on how to use Google Classroom is provided in the course.