There are over half a million Canadians who have speech, language and communication disabilities, not caused primarily by hearing loss.
Victims, witnesses and accused persons who have a disability that affects their communication, may require support communicating with police, legal and justice professionals. They may have unclear speech, difficulty organizing their thoughts and communicating what they want to say, limited vocabulary and grammar. Other people may have challenges attending, processing and understanding questions, or they may communicate using a picture, symbol, letter board or a communication device. Disabilities that can affect communication include cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, aphasia, learning disability, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, acquired brain injury, dementia, Parkinson’s Disease and other types of disabilities.
Communication Intermediaries facilitate two-way communication between police, legal and justice professionals and victims, witnesses and accused persons with communication disabilities, not caused by significant hearing loss.
Communication intermediaries are qualified Speech-Language Pathologists with special training from CDAC to work in justice situations.
To find a Communication Intermediary:
- Go to http://www.cdacanada.com/communication-assistance-database/
- Enter postal code of the location where the communication intermediary service is required.
- Select Communication Intermediary for assistance communicating with police, legal and justice services.
- When the screen changes, select the communication intermediary who is nearest to the desired location, and has experience in the age group, language, disability and communication method of the victim, witness or accused person.
- When the screen changes, enter your name and email and send the automated email to the communication intermediary.
- The communication intermediary will respond to your email to get information, negotiate services and payment.
- All communications between you and the communication intermediary are confidential.
- If you do not hear from the intermediary you contacted, you should search for another intermediary on the database.
- If this is an emergency, contact CDAC at email@example.com
For information about a Communication Intermediary’s role, training, how they work and their code of ethics and practice, go to http://www.access-to-justice.org/access-to-justice/