Communicability Global

Inclusion for people with communication disability

Helen Barrett

Specialist Speech and Language Therapist / Social Inclusion Advisor

Helen is a British Specialist Speech and Language Therapist and Social Inclusion Advisor who has worked in Africa since 1999 and has over twelve years' experience working with people with disabilities. She holds a Master's degree in Profound and Complex Learning Disability from the University of Manchester and is able to provide technical advisory services, training, research and clinical services in the field of disability and social inclusion, with a specialist focus on early childhood development and inclusive education. 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 communication 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 in early childhood development and intervention, education, and rehabilitation through strategic planning and development, training and research. Helen is currently involved in designing and writing the curriculum for a new BSc course in Speech and Language Therapy / Audiology at the University of Rwanda and is conducting doctoral research on early childhood development and inclusive education services for refugee-children with communication disabilities in Rwanda.

Helen is currently based in Kigali, Rwanda.

Helen's previous experience includes:
  • Programme management (Uganda)
  • Strategic planning (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda)
  • Proposal writing / bidding (Kenya, Uganda)
  • Workshop facilitation (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda)
  • Design and delivery of bespoke training (UK, The Gambia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda)
  • University lecturing (Uganda)
  • Under-graduate Curriculum design and review (Uganda, Rwanda)
  • Technical advisory services (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda)
  • Media campaigns (Uganda)
  • Publishing (Australia, UK, USA,Online)
  • Delivery of clinical services (UK, The Gambia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda)
  • International conference planning (Uganda)
  • International conference presentation (Argentina, Uganda, Ireland, South Africa)

Publications and papers

Journal articles

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

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.

Turatsinze, F., Mumamurungu, I., Barrett, H., Marshall, J., and Fowler, K. (in press). Identifying and supporting children with communication disabilities in Northern Rwanda: The Education Equity and Empowerment(EEE) project

Other outputs

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

Access to early childhood development and inclusive education services for refugee children with communication disability in Rwanda. To be presented at the 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