Skip to main content

How do you #XpressUrself?

2 December 2014

Today marks the launch of #XpressUrself, our digital appeal - part of global Giving Tuesday celebrations. We are asking you to #XpressUrself and get festive this Christmas, whilst raising money for Capability Scotland.

Why?

Nearly 1 in 50 children in Scotland need help to communicate and for 1 in 5 this need is severe. We want to help raise awareness about the different ways that people communicate and raise funds to support our vital work in this area. #XpressUrself is about finding a different way to wish your friends and family, "Happy Christmas." You can change lives this Christmas, by sharing a message and texting your Christmas donation using the number below.

Communication is at the heart of everything we do on a day to day basis. It's how we form relationships, express decisions and pass on ideas - whether that's saying what you want for dinner or sharing your dislike for the latest potential Christmas number one. But for some people communicating their thoughts and feelings can be a real challenge and that's where Capability Scotland comes in.

Greig has cerebral palsy and attends Capability Scotland's Upper Springland service; he told us about his experience of communicating when he was younger:

"When I was young I found it very difficult to communicate. I would be with other children playing games but couldn't spontaneously input into conversation. By the time I was given the opportunity to communicate the moment had passed which I found frustrating."

Now, thanks to the support of Capability Scotland Speech and Language therapists and Greig's determination, he is able to communicate effectively with the use of his Eco 2 Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device. Not only can he express his opinions, needs and wishes, but his device also integrates with his computer, telephone and television enabling him to express himself in numerous different ways. From singing in 'When Your Voice Is But a Whisper' to helping to teach students at Dundee University about communication tools, the sky is the limit for Greig!

The impact of AAC devices doesn't stop there. Recently a student at Capability Scotland's Corseford School was so enthused by learning Spanish that he asked for his Nova chat to be programmed with Spanish words. Now he is often heard greeting people along the school corridors and chatting to the staff at lunch time in Spanish!

Capability Scotland's Speech and Language therapists work hard to find suitable ways for people to communicate, whether that's through a symbol book, AAC devices or eye gaze technology - there is always a way. Even enabling someone to express a yes or a no can make a huge difference.

How can you get involved?

#XpressUrself, by sending friends, family or colleagues a Christmas message in an unconventional way this December. For example, you could sing a Christmas carol, or send a visual message by snapping yourself wearing a Christmas jumper. Share the festive spirit by taking a photograph, uploading it to twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the #XpressUrself hashtag. Text a £3 donation by texting Xpress 3 to 70500 and you could help us buy art materials for our services enabling others to express themselves in an artistic way. Text a £5 donation and you could help us buy talking buttons helping to give someone a voice this Christmas.*

We know that Greig has been practising a well-known Christmas tune for today using his AAC device, so make sure you keep an eye out on Facebook and twitter for his #XpressUrself post.

Your donations can help Capability Scotland speech and language therapists reach more people with communication difficulties across Scotland. You can help give someone a voice to communicate this Christmas by texting in your donation to 70500.*

--

Full terms and conditions are available here.

Xpress

Lee Ridley - Lost Voice Guy

The up and coming comedian Lee Ridley, also known as Lost Voice Guy, proves that having no verbal communicate is no barrier to communicating as well. Lee uses a communication device to do live stand-up comedy. He has shared his story over on Facebook, from his initial dislike of communication devices to being shortlisted for the BBC New Comedy Award!