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Using visuals at interview and trial

Visuals (e.g. pictures, written words etc) are extremely useful when used with vulnerable witnesses, suspects and defendants whose language skills are compromised or with those who are still developing language and communication skills.


Visuals are permanent whereas the spoken word disappears as soon as it has been said. Listening and remembering spoken information can be extremely taxing to a vulnerable person's working auditory memory. Visuals remain as a memory aid as long as they are left in sight.


Visuals are also highly effective in stressful situations. They take the pressure off having to speak when users are anxious.  They can be used in a range of situations, some of which are:

  • To request a break

  • To confirm the vulnerable individual has understood

  • To regulate the vulnerable person's emotions

  • To narrate an event in the correct order

  • To answer number related questions (e.g. "How many...?")

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