Sep 13, 2021

The specialized work team at Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services completed the Arabic translation of the communication matrix for parents of persons with disabilities. The translation aims at enriching Arabic content and keeping pace with international best practices in this field.

Mrs. Anwar Obaid, a Senior Speech and Language Specialist, has stressed the importance of this achievement that took place during the last academic year in line with the goals and directions of the city in empowering persons with disabilities and their parents. The team of specialists contributed to the work and implemented the work plan by signing a memorandum of understanding with the publisher.

She said, “The communication matrix is a tool through which parents can evaluate early stages of communication for children with disabilities in general and children with severe and multiple disabilities in particular. This is due to the limited tools used with them in the Arabic language.”

“The city decided to translate the version for parents because it helps them to implement it, and specialists can also use it, identify the communication style and identify its logical goals that help support it”, added Mrs. Anwar.

Dr. Charity Rowland, Oregon Health and Science University, first published this tool in 1990. Then she reviewed it in 1996. The version that the city translated is the 2004 issue. It has the advantage that both parents and specialists can use it. Its provisions cover patterns and all forms of communication, including pre-symbolic communication and Augmentative and Alternative (AAC) forms.

She explained that parents can use the matrix with all persons with disabilities and those with severe and multiple disabilities of any age in the early stages of communication. She stressed that it is not suitable for individuals who already use some form of language to communicate in an understandable and fluent manner.

The tool depend on four main reasons for communication: (refusal, obtaining, social, information). Accordingly, the levels of communication consists of seven levels: (Pre-Intentional Behavior), (Intentional Behavior), (Unconventional Communication), (Conventional Communication), (Concrete Symbols), (Abstract Symbols), and (Language).

Mrs. Anwar directed her sincerest thanks to the work team and speech and language specialist, Mr. Halim Khalili. He suggested the idea of translating the matrix to the city. He also supported the project of introducing the Arabic language to one of the most important sites for assessing the aspect of communication. She noted that this tool is available free of charge on the official website of the publisher