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Where the speech pathologist is not proficient in a language of the person with aphasia, a trained and qualified interpreter, knowledgeable with the specific requirements for speech pathology, should be used.

Reference: Lowell et al., 2012; Shahid et al., 2011
NHMRC level of Evidence: Qual.

Use of interpreters is essential. While the wide range of Aboriginal languages often makes access to relevant interpreters difficult, it is known that health professionals do not always access interpreters for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients even when they are readily available. Where interpreters are not available in the geographical area where the hospital/rehabilitation service is located, services should be sought via telephone or other media.


  1. Lowell, A., Maypilama, E., Yikaniwuy, S., Rrapa, E., Williams, R., & Dunn, S. (2012). "Hiding the story": indigenous consumer concerns about communication related to chronic disease in one remote region of Australia. Int J Speech Lang Pathol, 14(3), 200-208. doi: 10.3109/17549507.2012.663791
  2. Shahid, S., Finn, L., Bessarab, D., & Thompson, S. C. (2011). 'Nowhere to room ... nobody told them': logistical and cultural impediments to Aboriginal peoples' participation in cancer treatment. Australian Health Review, 35(2), 235-241. doi: Doi 10.1071/Ah09835


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Professor Linda Worrall
The University of Queensland
ST LUCIA QLD 4072   



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