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Communication Access

Topic Overview

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Over 440,000 Canadians have disabilities that affect their speech and/or their ability to understand what someone else is saying. Like everyone, people with communication disabilities have a legal right to equal access to goods and services. For that to happen, they have to be able to communicate s​uccessfully. Businesses, organizations, and essential services in Canada are required by law to make their services fully accessible for people who have communication disabilities.

​What Is Communication Access?

Communication access is what people who work in businesses and organizations can do to help people with communication disabilities:

  • understand what’s being said
  • have their messages accurately unders​​tood by others
  • have the supports they may need to communicate at meetings, public events, and over the telephone
  • get written information in ways they can understand and use
  • sign documents, take notes, and complete forms
  • communicate in the ways they prefer, such as:
    • speech (talking)​​
    • gestures
    • writing
    • pointing to objects or pictures
    • spelling words
    • typing on a communication device
    • having someone assist them

Credits: Adapted from Communication Disabilities Access Canada (CDAC)​

Current as of: May 30, 2018

Author: Allied Health, Speech, Language, Hearing and Audiology, Alberta Health Services