New Directions Associate Pioneers Single Hand Communication

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New Directions associate Derek Tune has launched an innovative communication technique to help support victims of strokes and other debilitating illnesses.

Single handed communication is a form of sign language that has been developed for those with restricted movement. Using only one hand, individuals can communicate to those around them about their needs.

Derek, who has worked with New Directions for a number of years, developed the system after a near fatal vehicle crash in 1994. The individual who saved Derek’s life that day was deaf. After recovering from the crash and witnessing other loved ones struggling to communicate after illness, he struck upon the notion of single handed communication.

Derek says of the system ‘I really wanted to help empower individuals, giving them back some dignity and alleviate the frustration of not being heard or getting their needs met,”

Statistics indicate that one in every 250 people will suffer a stroke this year. Other illnesses and repercussions of accidents and brain trauma can also leave individuals debilitated. Derek felt that in creating this method of communication, he could give a voice to those struggling to use their own.

The Single Hand Communication method consists of 54 prompt cards that identify vital words such as help, thirsty, toilet etc.

Derek worked with partner Jan and PR and Marketing guru Heather Gifford to develop, implement and market the Single Hand Communication method. The system has already helped a number of individuals, with one family member commenting ‘Our entire family saw Mum’s frustration dramatically reduce after using the SHC method of communication – what an excellent idea’.

For more information about this pioneering method of communication visit