While speech problems are an often overlooked disability, an estimated 1.2 million Australians live with communication disability, according to Speech Pathology Australia.
Speech Pathology Week celebrates the success of Australian doctors and speech therapists who have helped people with various disabilities with speech and communication.
Running from August 23 to August 29, Speech Pathology Week this year will focus on the theme of communicating with confidence.
Communication is a basic human right and Speech Pathology Week seeks to make Australians aware of this, according to SPA.
SPA also has a social media competition running with a prize of a $250 eftpos voucher for the winner. Head on to their website to have a look at the rules.
Speech and communication disabilities can develop suddenly or gradually.
A few common types of speech impairment and speech disorders are apraxia of speech, dysarthria and spasmodic dysphonia. Vocal disturbances is also one of the biggest speech disabilities that adults face, which changes the ease and sound of speech causing changes to the shape and function of the vocal cords.
Different causes for such speech impairment in adults include stroke, traumatic brain injury, neurological or motor disorder, illness and dementia, according to the SPA website.
Speech difficulties also include stuttering or mumbling, being unable to pronounce words, and they are also linked to problems with swallowing.
While there are many different kinds of speech problems, there are also a wide range of therapists helping people recognise their disability and improve their communication options.