Communication Access


Communication as is an interactive, two-way process that includes both understanding and being understood. Communication involves a range of communication methods in face-to-face interactions, over the telephone, online and via reading and writing. Communication methods include speech, gestures, body language, writing, drawing, pictures, symbol and letter boards, speech-generating devices, as well as human services such as ASL/LSQ/ISL interpreting, captioning in real time, informal and formal communication assistance.

Communication access occurs when people can:

  • understand what is said
  • have their messages understood by others
  • use their preferred methods of communication, such as speech; gestures; body language; writing; pictures, symbols, letters; sign language, selecting items on a communication device and/or having someone they trust assist with communication.
  • get the time and opportunity to communicate
  • get written information in ways they read and understand
  • sign documents, take notes and complete forms in ways that are accessible to them
  • use an organization’s website and social media
  • connect with an organization via telephone or other more accessible ways

People who have disabilities that affect their communication may require communication supports in:

  • Face-to-face interactions
  • Telephone communication
  • Group communications such as meetings, conferences and public consultations
  • Online events
  • Reading
  • Writing

Communication access includes:

  • Things that people can do when interacting with a person who has a communication disability
  • Use of appropriate communication tool to support understanding and/or expression
  • Access to an authorized, trusted person who can assist with communication and/or a qualified Speech-Language Pathologist or Augmentative Communication Clinician.