Intermediaries on the database

A Communication Intermediary, listed on the CDAC database, is a qualified Speech-Language Pathologist with additional training from CDAC to work as a Communication Intermediary in police, legal and justice situations.

All Communication Intermediaries work independently of CDAC and set their own service rates.  They are not endorsed, accredited or paid by CDAC.

They have agreed to the following code of ethics which includes a commitment to:

  • Support a person with a communication disability to communicate as accurately, completely and authentically as possible within a legal / justice context.
  • Accept work for which they are qualified and that they judge to be within their professional competence.
  • Strive to the best of their ability to enable effective communication between a person with communication disability and the legal / justice professional.
  • Maintain neutral and impartial at all times.
  • Not to work as an expert witness, advisor, advocate, mediator, coach, therapist, or personal attendant.
  • Not to 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.
  • Remove themselves from assignments where there is any perceived or real conflict of interest.
  • Treat as confidential all information pertaining to an individual and case.
  • Respect the authority and judgment of the court.
  • Work at all times in the presence of a justice professional.
  • Conduct an assessment of the communication needs of the person and provide a written report with recommendations about required communication supports and aids.
  • Take 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.
  • Use 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.
  • Notify 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.

Please note that many communication intermediaries have full time work and may not always be available to take on intermediary work.

In addition, an intermediary is required to assess a person’s communication needs prior to assisting them in courtroom.  They cannot be called into a courtroom without having conducted this assessment and becoming familiar. They should be engaged as early as possible within the justice process.