Communication Access to Justice

May 1, 2021

Building on CDAC’s past work and recognizing the need for a dedicated national organization to address communication access in justice, Communication Access to Justice is a new national non-profit entity that promotes access to the justice system for victims, witnesses and accused persons who have speech, language and/or cognitive disabilities, when communicating in police, legal and justice situations.

Communication Access to Justice

  • Provides training, resources, and guidelines for Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) to work as communication intermediaries when supporting victims, witnesses and accused persons communicating in police, legal and justice settings.
  • Maintains and expands a community of practice for communication intermediaries to share and learn from each other.
  • Maintains and expands the national database of trained communication intermediaries that can be used to source communication intermediary services.
  • Facilitates the development of regional communication intermediary hubs to support the justice system in providing communication support to victims, witnesses and accused persons who have communication disabilities.
  • Increases awareness of communication intermediary services for individuals who have communication disabilities, family members disability services.
  • Supports police, legal, and justice professionals in recognizing people who have communication disabilities, and how and when to engage communication intermediary services.
  • Works with the justice system, accessibility legislators and policy makers to embed communication intermediary services as an essential accommodation service for victims, witnesses and accused person who have communication disabilities.

CAJust Board Members

  • Laurel Robinson – Communication Intermediary
  • Darlene Goertzen – Vice President of Accounting and Finance at 24-7 Intouch
  • Wes Courchene – Manitoba Director of Indigenous Policing
  • Krystine Donato – Accessibility Consultant
  • Isabel Grant – Lawyer and Professor of Law at the University of British Columbia
  • Alan Libman – Legal Aid Lawyer

CAJust Executive Director 

Caitlin Buchel, RSLP, M.Cl.Sc., SLP (C)

Caitlin Buchel is a Speech-Language Pathologist and a Communication Intermediary in Manitoba. She works with people who have diverse communication disabilities including those with neuro-degenerative disease, and those recovering from a stroke or traumatic brain injury. In 2019/20, Caitlin was the manager of the CDAC’s Communication Intermediary Program. She has supported people communicating in court, with the RCMP, Legal Aid, Public Interest Law Centre, the Manitoba Prosecution Service, and Restorative Justice.

Contact Caitlin at: caitlinbuchel@cajust.ca