Working with a Communication Assistant

Course Information

This course has been developed by Communication Disabilities Access Canada (CDAC) with a funding contribution from the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability Component.

What is this course about?

The course is for individuals who have communication disabilities and who want people to assist them communicating with people in their communities. It is about how to hire, train and work with a communication assistant.

The course is NOT primarily intended for people who provide communication assistance.  However, communication assistants are welcome to facilitate someone to take the course.

There are no quizzes or assignments.

Who can take this course?

This course is for anyone who:

  • has a communication disability (not caused primarily by hearing loss)
  • wants a person to assist them communicating in certain situations
  • is over 16 years of age
  • communicates using unclear speech, and/or a picture, symbol, letter board or device
  • is a family member, clinician or staff person supporting individual(s) with communication disabilities to take the course

What will you learn in the course?

There are 5 lessons in this course.

Lesson 1:  Your Communication Access Rights
Lesson 2:  Communication Assistants
Lesson 3:  Finding and Hiring a Communication Assistant
Lesson 4:  Training a Communication Assistant
Lesson 5:  Communication Assistance in Healthcare and Justice situations

Who are the instructors?

The instructors are people who have communication disabilities and who use assistants to support them communicating in certain situations.

How is the course provided?

  • The course is online using the internet.
  • It is in English and French.
  • It contains written text, audio, video and handouts

How do you take the course?

  • You need a computer, tablet or a smart phone with a large screen and a good internet connection.
  • You need an email address to take the course.
  • It will take approximately 2-3 hours to complete the course.
  • You do not have to take the course at one time. You can take breaks and come back to it.
  • The course is available from Sept 24, 2018 – January 31, 2019. After that, there will be a cost to take it.
  • You can email questions to our help line at any time.

What if you don’t have a computer, tablet or smart phone with internet access?

You might be able to use a computer at your library, AAC clinic or speech-language pathology service, or a local disability organization.

Can someone help you take the course:

Yes. Please ask someone to assist you, if you think you might need help. They must also register to take the course (see below).

If you have questions, please email Shelley Deegan, CDAC moderator at

Registration is Closed