Communication Access within the Accessible Canada Act Reports
What communication access can look like in the future
Communication Access within the Accessible Canada Act project ended in March of this year with 26 recommendations to improve communication access within federal government services. These recommendations are from the expertise and lived experiences of the project advisors and co-researchers. You can read the details in our Recommendations Report, but here is a taste of what our experts revealed through their experiences interacting with government services:
- The predominant front-line barrier is ATTITUDINAL. This often stems from fear of not knowing, not being exposed to differences, and not having the tools to address different needs within different contexts.
- AWARENESS. Develop and deliver training to build awareness around the nuances of ways of communicating. This should include training focused on the fact that people with the same disability are going to communicate in different ways and those ways should be considered valid in all contexts.
- TIME. Provide adequate time for individuals to complete a communication process, whether online or in person. Persons with a communication difference may not only need different communication modalities but also different time frames.
- RESPECT. Respect individuals with communication differences and needs. Support service employees in critical contexts by implementing community registries for residents with communication disorders and intersecting neurological conditions that can be accessed by service employees, in particular critical services such as border services and policing.
What communication access looks like today
We published two other reports over the year-long project. These reports look at the landscape of communication access from the perspective of:
- quantitative data,
- defining communication and communication access, and
- available services and funding.
One person facing a barrier is one too many
Quantitative data shouldn’t matter, but it does in the funding world, so we created a framework to calculate incidence and prevalence rates for communication disability in Canada. This national data is the first of its kind and reveals that 4.1 to 4.8 million Canadians are living with a communication disability. The research also tells us that those living with a communication disability face multiple barriers when interacting with federal services and businesses. You can find out more in our Framing Report.
Learn more about communication access
What does communication access mean? What does communication access in federally regulated contexts mean? What kinds of supports are available for people with communication disability? What kinds of barriers are people encountering (first-hand accounts)? We created a resource to help answer all these questions in our Scoping Report.