Capacity Adjudication Hearings

The following points, in conjunction with applicable laws, rules and policies, should guide accommodation policies and practices for consent / capacity hearings for people who have speech, language, communication and / or cognitive disabilities:

  • Mandatory training for adjudicators on recognizing and accommodating the needs of people with speech, language, communication and/or cognitive disabilities.
  • Acknowledgment that an individual’s way of communicating should not be grounds for determining their capacity to make decisions.
  • Alternate decision making arrangements and guardianship should not be appointed unless ALL effective communication and/or decision-making supports have been put in place.
  • Engagement of a Speech-Language Pathologist may be required to ensure that an individual has the communication supports they need throughout a hearing in the areas of:
    • Identifying and providing an individual’s communication support needs for effective two-way communication
    • Determining and confirming an individual’s understanding of critical information
    • Ensuring authenticity and accuracy of an individual’s expressive communication
    • Providing communication assistance if there is evidence of a conflict of interest, undue persuasion or coercion from support person(s)