Communicability Global

  Dignity - Rights - Inclusion

Helen Barrett

Disability and Social Inclusion Advisor / Speech and Language Therapist

Helen is a British disability and social inclusion advisor. Trained as Speech and Language Therapist, Helen  has worked in Africa since 1999 and has over fifteen years' experience working with people with disabilities in Africa and the UK. She holds a Master's degree in Profound and Complex Learning Disability and provides technical advisory services, training, research, and clinical services in the field of disability and social inclusion, with a specialist focus on humanitarian contexts. She has considerable experience and expertise in working with children with complex needs and motor disorders, in both the UK and Africa (The Gambia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda).

Helen is passionate about raising awareness of the importance of service provision for people with hidden disabilities in order for them to achieve social inclusion and acceptance and to increase their capacity to live independently. She is particularly interested in increasing the capacity of local service providers to deliver services through strategic planning and development, training and research. Helen is currently the lead technical inclusion advisor on a project with UNICEF Rwanda, aiming to improve the quality of ECD services nation-wide. She is also involved in work with UNCHR Rwanda on access to sexual and reproductive health education for refugees with communication disability, and is conducting doctoral research on early childhood development and inclusive education services for refugee-children with communication disabilities in Rwanda.

Helen currently lives in Malaysia with her husband and two energetic children.

Publications and papers

Journal articles

Barrett, H., Marshall, J., and Goldbart, J. (2019). Refugee-children with communication disability in Rwanda - providing the educational services they need. Forced Migration Review (2019).

Marshall, J., and Barrett, H. (2018). Human rights of refugee-survivors of sexual and gender-based violence with communication disability. IJSLP.

Batamuliza Mukara, K., Tumusiime, D., Barrett, H., Donner, S.R., Kagwiza, J.N., and Murenzi, J. (2017). Development of a communicative disorders training programme for Rwanda: joining the dots. ASHA Perspectives. 2(17): 96-104.

Barrett, H. (2016). Applying Theories of Cultural Competence to Speech-Language Pathology Practice in East  Africa. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology.

Barrett, H., Turatsinze, F., and Marshall, J. (2016). Strategic Thinking Achieves Change. Bulletin (July edition). RCSLT.

Barrett, H. & Marshall, J. (2013) Implementing the World Report on Disability: developing human resource capacity to meet the needs of people with communication disability in Uganda, International Journal of Speech and Language Pathology. 15(1): 48-52.


Barrett, H., Jones, I., Fernandes M., Veale C., and McGeown, J. (2011) Looking to the Future with Uganda’s first Speech and Language Therapists. Bulletin. Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).


Reichel, I., Ademaya-Sokola, G., Bakhtiar, M., Barrett, H., Bona, J., Busto-Marolt, L., Nanjaya, N., Diaz, C., Haj-Tas, M., Lilian, D., Makauskiene, V., Miyamoto, S., Shah, E., Bian de Touzet, B., and Awad Yasin, S. (2014). Frontiers of Cluttering Across Continents: Research, Clinical Practices, Self-Help and Professional Preparation. Perspectives on Global Issues in Communication Sciences and Related Disorders. 4(2): 42-50.


Barrett, H., and Marshall, J. (2017). Understanding sexual and gender-based violence against refugees with communication disability. 

Barrett, H. (2013) Education for all? Access to primary-level education for children with complex learning disabilities in countries with free primary education in Sub-Saharan Africa: A review of the literature. Master's dissertation. University of Manchester, UK. Available from the author.

Book chapters

Barrett, H., Marshall, J., Goldbart, J., Hughes, A., and Bussien, N. (in press). Access to early childhood development and inclusive education services for refugee children with communication disability in Rwanda. Accepted for publication in the Handbook of Communication Disabilities and Language Development  in Sub Saharan Africa.


Responding to the Needs of Children with Communication Difficulties in Northern Rwanda: The Education, Equality and Empowerment Project  Strategy. Chance for Childhood, UK. (2015).


4th East African Conference on Communication Disability Summary Report. Makerere University, Uganda (2012). Available online at:


Embedding Speech and Language Therapy Services in Uganda’s Health and Education Systems. Makerere University, Uganda. (2010). Available online at:


Conference presentations

J.Marshall, H. Barrett. Sexual and Gender-based violence prevention and sexual and reproductive health education, for refugees with communication disability in Rwanda. Speech Pathology Australia conference, Brisbane, Australia. (June 2019).

Collaborating with humanitarian agencies to improve service access for refugees with communication disability in Rwanda. Conference on Communication Disability, Kisumu, Kenya. (July 2018).

H.Barrett, J. Marshall. Understanding sexual and gender based violence against refugees with communication disability in Rwanda. Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists Conference. Glasgow (Oct 2017).

Access to early childhood development and inclusive education services for refugee children with communication disability in Rwanda.  South African Speech Language and Hearing Association Conference (Oct. 2016)

"Umva": Challenges to developing cultural competence for external SLTs practising in East Africa: 30th World Congress of The International Association of Logopaedics and Phoniatrics, Dublin, Ireland (Aug. 2016)

JE. Marshall, I. Jones, H. Barrett, M. Fernandes, S. Raheja SLP development in Uganda. San Diego, USA, (2012).

The rise of global collaboration in exploring cluttering: Presented at the 9th World Congress of People who Stutter, International Stuttering Association, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2011)

 Interested in Helen's work? Contact us