Code of Ethics and Guideline Practices

Communication Intermediaries listed on the CDAC database work independently of CDAC.  However, they have all agree to abide by the following Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Practice for Communication Intermediaries.  

A communication intermediary:  

  • 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.

A Communication Intermediary does not:

  • Express an expert opinion on the truth or reliability of what a victim, witness, or accused person has communicated
  • Comment advise or give an expert opinion on the victim, witness or accused person’s competence to give evidence
  • Work as an expert witness, support person, advocate, counselor or coach for the witness, victim or accused person