Assessment of preschool children’s intelligibility

Impact: Quality of life Impact, Social Impact

Impact summary

The Intelligibility in Context Scale (ICS) was developed at Charles Sturt University for speech pathologists, educators and parents to assess children’s communication. Early identification of children with speech, language and communication needs enables timely and targeted intervention and minimises negative educational and social outcomes. The ICS is an innovative approach that can be used across languages and cultures to assess children’s communication involving speech pathologists, educators and parents.

The ICS is a parent-report assessment tool. The wide and rapid uptake of the ICS provides strong evidence of its value and impact for identifying children with communication needs. The ICS has impacted the fields of health (speech pathology) and education and fills a gap in assessment tools for intelligibility, is based on the international World Health Organization framework, is clinically relevant and efficient and includes parents in the assessment process. It considers a range of contexts in order to evaluate a child’s functional skills and is free. A key innovation offered by the ICS is that children are assessed in the language spoken by their families and communities, even if the professional does not speak that language.

The ICS has been translated into 63 languages, validated in 9 languages (Croatian, Cantonese, English, Fijian, Jamaican, Korean, German, Slovenian, and Vietnamese), trialled in 7 official languages of South Africa and used to assist children with speech sound disorders in Australia, The Netherlands, Sweden and Hong Kong.

The associated Charles Sturt University Multilingual Children’s Speech website contains resources downloaded 93,359 times in 50 countries (Nov 2012 - Dec 2016).
Impact date2012
Category of impactQuality of life Impact, Social Impact
Impact levelBenefit


  • Assessment
  • Speech pathology
  • Education
  • Early childhood
  • Intelligibility
  • Speech sound disorders
  • Communication disorders
  • Phonology
  • Multilingual
  • Bilingual

Countries where impact occurred

  • Australia
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Fiji
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • Portugal
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Sweden
  • Netherlands
  • Viet Nam
  • United Kingdom
  • United States