People who have disabilities

Have you ever had a professional – like a teacher, doctor, lawyer or bank person– make a snap assumption about you because of the way you communicate? Or, perhaps they deferred a decision to a family member, attendant or a friend simply because it was faster and easier for them? Sometimes, people are wrong and say things that we don’t agree with and this can violate our right to control what happens in our lives.

Everyone is different and has different needs.  For example, some of us may need supports to understand information.  Some of us may need displays and devices to express what we want to communicate.  Some of us may want to have someone we trust to assist with communication or to help us make an important decision.

Without these communication supports, we may have little or no control over what happens in our lives.

In 2010, Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  This means that Canada is now obligated to implement the Convention.  Article 12 in the Convention states that we have a right to make choices and decisions that affect us and to have the supports we may need to do this.

Communication Disabilities Access Canada has developed resources to educate healthcare, legal, justice, financial and community services about our rights and about the communication supports we may need when using their services.

Here are some things you can do to help people to understand your right to get the supports you may need:

  • Learn about communication supports that you may need when using healthcare, legal, financial and community services.
  • Complete a communication support form to tell people about the supports that you may need when using their service.
  • Watch and then share the CDAC webinars on your twitter, and facebook pages and with your healthcare, legal, financial and other services in your community.