Code of Practice and Ethics

General Communication Assistance
  • I have attended the CDAC online training course.
  • I have at least 12 months experience working with a person who has a disability or with a disability organization.
  • I can provide a resume and reference(s) for my work in disability services.
  • I understand my role is to facilitate two-way communication between a person who is over 18 years of age, has established ways to communicate and another person(s).
  • I understand that my attendance at the communication assistance course has not prepared me to conduct communication assessments, provide therapy or clinical services. In addition, it has not prepared me to recommend or program communication devices or develop communication displays.
  • I understand that at this time, Communication Assistant is not a professional title or qualification.
  • I understand that a Speech-Language Pathologist should support a person communicating in critical situations such as with police, legal or justice situations, or in healthcare settings relating to consent to treatment and capacity assessments.
  • I will only take on work engagements where I have experience working with people who have similar disabilities and who use similar communication methods.
  • I have proficient speaking, reading, spelling and writing skills in English or French (at least grade 4 level).
  • I understand that I am accountable to the person who is hiring me to assist with communication. CDAC does not pay, employ or endorse my work as a communication assistant.
  • I understand that the information I provide for the database is true and will only be used by CDAC on the assistance database.
  • I understand that it is my obligation to respond to finder requests that I might receive for communication assistance.

Communication Intermediary assistance in Police, Legal and Justice Settings

A Communication Intermediary, listed on the CDAC roster, has qualifications in Speech-Language Pathology and has taken additional training from CDAC to work as a Communication Intermediary in justice situations. While all Communication Intermediaries work independently of CDAC, they agree to abide by the following Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Practice for Communication Intermediaries.

  • Supports a person with a communication disability to communicate as accurately, completely and authentically as possible within a legal / justice context.
  • Accepts work for which they are qualified and that they judge to be within their professional competence.
  • Strives to the best of their ability to enable effective communication between a person with communication disability and the legal / justice professional.
  • Maintains neutral and impartial at all times.
  • Does not work as an expert witness, advisor, advocate, mediator, coach, therapist, or personal attendant.
  • Does not express opinions about the truth of a person’s communication or any aspect of the case that could contaminate the evidence or lead to an allegation of rehearsing or coaching the individual.
  • Removes themselves from assignments where there is any perceived or real conflict of interest.
  • Treats as confidential all information pertaining to an individual and case.
  • Respects the authority and judgment of the court.
  • Works at all times in the presence of a justice professional.
  • Conducts an assessment of the communication needs of the person and provides a written report with recommendations about required communication supports and aids.
  • Takes an oath of assurance to the court that they will perform to the best of their skill and ability and be honest in dealings with the court.
  • Uses communication strategies and aids that are appropriate to the individual’s comprehension communication requirements to facilitate understanding of questions without suggesting answers, anticipating the intention of the questioner or altering the meaning of the question.
  • Notifies CDAC of any criminal investigation or proceedings against them, or any complaint or investigation into their conduct or competence as a speech language pathologist or communication intermediary.