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What organizations can do

People who work in organizations can do different things to support your communication depending on:

  • The type of business and service
  • How well the people working there know you and how you communicate
  • How critical communication is within that setting

In most business or organizations, you will want people to:

  • Be friendly and talk directly to you
  • Not underestimate your abilities
  • Ask what they can do when communicating with you
  • Give you extra time to communicate
  • Make a genuine effort to understand your message
  • Ask if you need assistance with reading and writing activities

Professionals who work in healthcare, emergency, police, legal and justice, professionals should also do these things. In addition, you may want:

  • Staff who are trained to communicate with you
  • Access to a communication assistant to help with communication, if you need one
  • Access to emergency picture, alphabet boards and communication tools


Communication tips for businesses and services

  • This is a list of general communication tips for that businesses and organizations. You could print out the list and give to it to businesses and organizations in your community.

What to expect from a business or service

  • This is a list of things you should be able to expect from businesses and services that are communication accessible.

CAN Brochures

  • This is a brochure that you can print and give to businesses and organizations in your community. You can also contact us for printed copies.

Make Services Accessible

  • Tell businesses and organizations about the CAN online resource which tells them how to make services communication accessible



About CAN

Communication Access Now (CAN) is a national campaign to promote accessibility for people who have speech and language disabilities.

People who have speech and language disabilities can have major barriers accessing services because some people:

  • may be afraid to talk to them
  • think they are hard of hearing
  • underestimate their abilities
  • do not know how to communicate with them
  • do not know simple things to do to provide access to their services

CAN provides information, education and resources about communication access for:

  • Government, accessibility legislators and policy makers
  • Businesses, organizations and community services
  • People who have speech and language disabilities and their families
  • Communication and disability services

CAN’s goal is to improve accessibility to goods, services and opportunities for all people who have speech and language disabilities.

Useful resources

CAN Videos

  • Use these CAN videos to learn about communication access rights and what businesses and organization can do to make services communication accessible.
  • View them on Youtube and share them with people you know.

CAN Brochures and Postcards

  • You can contact your regional coordinator  for brochures and distribute them in your community.
  • You can also print the online copies of CAN brochures and postcards.

Toolkit for People with Communication Disabilities

  • Support a person with a communication disability to learn about and communicate about their accessibility rights.
  • This toolkit contains videos, information and vocabulary on communication access for people with communication disabilities.

CAN needs you

As a professional who supports people with communication disabilities, you play a significant role in creating communication accessible communities.

CAN needs you because you already know that:

  • People with communication disabilities can experience significant accessibility barriers
  • Barriers are often caused by lack of awareness on the part of people interacting with individuals who have communication disabilities
  • Ineffective communication can have serious consequences in healthcare, emergencies and legal situations
  • People with communication disabilities, can benefit from improved access if their needs are included in emerging legislation
  • A little information can go a long way in creating communication accessible communities.