Communication is an interactive, two-way process that involves both understanding and being understood. Communication includes speech, gestures, body language, writing, drawing, pictures, symbol and letter boards, communication devices, as well as human services such as informal and formal communication assistance, sign language interpreting, captioning in real time etc.
Communication access refers to policies and practices within service entities to ensure that people understand what is said or written and can communicate what they want to convey in face-to-face and telephone interactions, teleconferencing, online learning, meetings, conferences, public consultations, reading (print, websites and digital), and writing (forms, signatures, surveys and notetaking).
Founded by Barbara Collier and Hazel Self in 2001, CDAC is entirely project funded. We focus on communication accessibility policy and legislation, conduct research, and develop conceptual frameworks, resources and educational opportunities on a range of social justice, accessibility and human rights issues for people who have speech, language and communication disabilities.
People who have communication disabilities may have cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, Down Syndrome, learning disability, intellectual disability, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, traumatic brain injury, aphasia after a stroke, dementia, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (or ALS), Parkinson’s disease, or Multiple Sclerosis. We do not address the needs of people who are Deaf, deafened or have a significant hearing loss and who require sign language interpreting services as there are other organizations that do this.
Our online resources are used by thousands of individuals and organizations to promote equal access to goods and services for people who have disabilities that affect their communication. Visitors to our website include people who have communication disabilities, family members, disability services, businesses and organizations, human rights agencies, government agencies, healthcare professionals, social service providers, capacity adjudicators, police, legal and justice services, accessibility policy makers, legislators, and communication clinicians.
We do not provide clinical communication services. To find out about communication clinical services, please contact your provincial Speech-Language Pathologist and Audiology Association.
- Communication Disabilities
- Communication Access
- Access to Justice / Communication Intermediaries
- Communication Supports in Exercising Capacity and Autonomy
- Access to Healthcare
- Communication Access Symbol
- Communication Assistance Database
- Accessibility Legislation
- Legal Issues
- Information for People who have Disabilities that Affect Communication