What is the European Day of Speech and Language Therapy?

In 2004, CPLOL created European Day in order to increase awareness of the SLT profession throughout Europe. It was considered essential to develop public awareness about communication disorders, their effect on human health, the rights of patients with communication disorders and ways to help them. The message of European day is that the prevention of communication disorders may gain by sharing knowledge and experience throughout Europe. With that in mind, one theme is proposed each year, and where possible, a common slogan and shared materials are used.

Year  |  The themes over the years
2020 - Reading and writing disabilities
2019 - Autism Spectrum Disorders (European Day Activities across Europe in 2019)
2018 - Augmentative and Alternative Communication (European Day Activities across Europe in 2018)
2017 - Dysphagia (European Day Activities across Europe in 2017)
2016 - Dyspraxia (European Day Activities across Europe in 2016 )
2015 - Acquired neurological communication disorders (European Day Activities across Europe in 2015)
2014 - Multilingualism (European Day Activities across Europe in 2014)

The themes of the European Day - March 6 - in the coming years will be annonced here:


The European Day of SLT objectives

The keyword is “information”. Information about possible speech-language and communication disorders, about the work of SLTs, about CPLOL and the local organizations; information to increase both the public and the authorities’ awareness of what SLTs do and information to clients (patients about their rights and what kind of help they can get and where). It is also an aim in itself to increase the SLTs’ activities and engagement on European day all over Europe.


Target groups

  • For patients and clients, European Day of SLT offers information about speech-language andcommunication disorders and about treatment possibilities;

  • For doctors, teachers, and other professionals, the activities of European Day of SLT offer opportunities for inter-professional exchange;

  • For politicians, communities and local authorities, European Day of SLT directs attention to the often forgotten group of people with communication problems who cannot express their needs in the same way as others;

  • For journalists and reporters, the activities of European Day of SLT offer a broad range of interesting information about speech-language, communication disorders and treatment possibilities;

  • For speech-language therapists, European Day of SLT offers the opportunity to show the public their contribution to health care and to education;

  • For the public, European Day of SLT offers a lot of information about speech-language and communication disorders which may affect anyone and has a direct impact on their family members.


 Type of activities to be incorporated

  • Installing a hot-line, so that people can call and ask questions.

  • Screenings conducted by SLTs or students in schools, kindergartens, hospitals or in private practices.

  • Distributing flyers and posters in schools, kindergartens, hospitals and other services.

  • Running a media campaign, with articles in magazines, newspapers, TV and radio, focusing on interviews with patients as well as with professionals. It’s especially important to bring the patient or parents into the picture as they are in a central position to describe their own experiences with the SLT profession and what kind and quality of services they have received.

  • Organizing press conferences

  • Vox pop or “Micro-trottoir” interviews of people in the street, asking them, for instance, if they know what “speech therapy” or “orthophonie” means, and other similar questions.

  • Organizing a symposium on a specific theme for professionals and/or the public.

  • Organizing round table discussions open to the public and to professionals.

  • Open day for public institutions.

  • Meeting with members Government organs

  • Put information on internet: social media, site, blogs, movies channels

  • Write articles to magazines, newspapers and newsletters for public/parents

  • Leaflets and printed material to health and educational professionals, and also to parents

  • Share success stories

  • Get advice about strategic, planning and time frame

  • Collaborate with parents associations and schools


Is funding necessary to organize the functions?

It is not absolutely necessary to have funding. In fact, most associations work without it. Of course, getting sponsors to collaborate in the project would contribute to promote the theme further.


Previous experience has shown, that tte following factors may contribute to successful outcome:

  • Appointing a working group, who work as a team for optimal results;

  • Start planning early;

  • Creating a timetable for all activities which are scheduled;

  • Make good use of technology and the internet;

  • Personal contacts with the media, policy makers, etc.;

  • Link to CPLOL’s and national associations’ websites, by exchanging leaflets, posters etc.;

  • Ensuring that national and local organizations support the project and are willing to back it in a practical way;

  • Pass on all of this experience and knowledge on the organization of European Day to working groups in following years.


Benefits of celebrating European Day of SLT.

The celebration of European Day of SLT increases public awareness of a wide-range of communication disorders and of the SLTs’ role - their evaluations, methods and therapeutic processes. It is also an opportunity to promote the work of SLT associations within each individual country, but also on a European level. Celebrating European Day of SLT allows us to show that SLTs throughout Europe have a common goal and that we are working together to make a dynamic impact on promoting health and well-being in children and adults with communication disorders throughout Europe.