In 2007, responding to the need to assist people communicating in police, legal and justice situations, CDAC under the leadership of Barbara Collier, established the first communication intermediary program in Canada. Since then, with inconsistent and inadequate project funding, we trained over 500 Speech Language Pathologists to work in these settings and have advocated for these services to be available to all victims, witnesses, accused persons and offenders in Canada who have speech, language and, or communication disabilities.
In anticipation of Barbara’s retirement, we are pleased to announce and support Communication Access to Justice (CAJust), a new national, non-profit organization that we jointly established and which will continue CDAC’s work to advance communication access to police, legal and justice services. To support CAJust in its start-up phase, CDAC provides seed funding, consultation and access to its existing resources, trainings and database for communication intermediaries in Canada.
Caitlin Buchel, RSLP, M.Cl.Sc., SLP (C) Executive Director of Communication Access to Justice (CAJust)
“I am honored and fully committed to continuing CDAC’s work in the area of communication access to justice and advancing equal access to police, legal and justice services for people who have speech, language and communication disabilities”. Sept 8, 2022
Barbara Collier Reg.CASLPO, F.ISAAC, Executive Director, C0- Founder of CDAC and The Communication Intermediary Program in Canada
“I am delighted to hand over the reigns of our access to justice program to CAJust. I have no doubt that CAJust, under the competent direction of Caitlin Buchel will build on the work that has been done, and will further expand the program to ensure that Canadians who have communication disabilities have the supports they need to effectively communicate within justice services”. Feb. 8, 2022
Hazel Self, Co-Founder and Chair of the CDAC Board of Directors
“The CDAC Board of Directors, is pleased to support CAJust in taking on this important initiative, by providing some start-up funding and access to our online training resources and database. We want to acknowledge and thank Barbara Collier, who in 2007, established a communication intermediary service model that has already helped many victims, witnesses and accused persons to communicate with police and justice professionals. Barbara has worked with legal professionals in Canada and internationally; trained over 500 Speech-Language Pathologists to work as communication intermediaries; developed CDAC’s national online database for the justice sector to source intermediaries to assist people communicating in these settings, and presented numerous presentations to legal, police and justice sectors on issues relating to accessibility to these services for Canadians with communication disabilities. At this time, we are excited that CAJust is taking over this essential work and we wish Caitlin and her group every success.” Feb. 8, 2022