Negotiating your communication access needs

  • Most people are willing to accommodate your communication needs. However, they may not know how to do this.
  • Don’t expect people to know what works best for you. Your role is to tell them what you want them to do.
  • Put people at ease, by smiling and greeting them, especially if they look nervous or afraid of you.
  • Start communicating.
  • If the person has difficulty understanding your message, explain what you want them to do. You could have some phrases ready in your device, show them your instructions on how to communicate with you or give them your communication access card.
  • Use polite words to encourage people to follow your instructions.
  • Give positive and constructive feedback to help people accommodate your communication access needs. Remember, this may be new for them.

If your rights are ignored

  • Make sure that you have done everything possible to communicate what you want the person or organization to do
  • Think about how serious the complaint is for you
  • Does the problem lie with an individual or with the organization as a whole?
  • Get advice from a disability organization or someone you trust
  • You may want to
    • Meet with the manager
    • File a complaint if the organization has a complaint process
    • If it is a publicly funded service, write to the Minister in charge of funding the service
    • Get legal advice from a lawyer, legal aid clinic or legal disability services
    • Lodge a complaint with the Human Rights Commission
    • Report the issue to your local accessibility committee or ministry