Session 4:  Communication Supports for Formal, Symbolic Communicators 

The resources listed here are examples only and relate to the slide numbers as they are shown in session 4. Links to these sites are provided as a convenience and are current as of the date posted. The inclusion of a product or a link does not constitute an official endorsement, guarantee, or approval by Communication Disabilities Access Canada (CDAC).

Communication support chart:

Slide: 4: Respectful Communication

Starting a conversation: CDAC.

Slide 5: Sample Communication Passports

My Health Passport for Hospital/Clinic Visits. Florida Center for Inclusive Communities.

Communication passport for emergencies: Widget.

Making a communication access card: CDAC

Aphasia communication identification and tips Card: Aphasia Institute

Slide 6: Communication Support Questionnaires

Communication Disabilities Access Canada

Effective Communication:  Surrey Place Centre

Slide 7: Comprehension

Supporting Comprehension: CDAC

Slides 8, 20, 21 and 33: Context Topic Boards

Patient Provider Communication

This website has a range of free downloadable topic boards and resources for communicating in  healthcare and emergency settings

The Nuts and Bolts of Healthcare

This toolkit is for professionals who are interested in improving the health and health care of the people who have intellectual disabilities

Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities

Easy read resources about healthcare for people with intellectual disabilities, family members, support staff and healthcare providers.

Developmental Disabilities Primary Care Program: Surrey Place Centre

Online resources and a primary care program for children and adults with intellectual disabilities

Medical communication boards: Green House Publications

Intended for use in hospitals, rehab units, acute care, emergency rooms, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, clinics, hospice care

Critical Communicator Board: AliMed

Provides help with understanding medical problems in foreign languages.

Beyond Words – Empowering people through pictures

Books and training to support people who find pictures easier to understand than words.

ParticiPics Photographic Tools to Aid in Conversations: Aphasia Institute, Toronto

A free, searchable database of pictures designed to facilitate conversations with people with aphasia. Topics include Healthcare, Abuse, death and grieving, safety, banking

Improving Emergency Care for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

This toolkit is for emergency providers working with patients who have developmental disabilities.

Communication Access Rights and Negotiations: CDAC

Communication access displays contain vocabulary to communicate about accessibility supports including: rights, respect, understanding, expressive communication, telephone, reading and writing access.

Communication Rights Toolkit: Communication First

Communicating with Police, Legal and Justice Services: CDAC

Picture displays to communicate about abuse, crimes, legal and court procedures

Slide 13: Comprehension Assistance

Free online training program for people who provide communication assistance: CDAC

Slide 15: Accessible Reading and Writing

Plain language checklist and information

Plain Language Project:  People First Canada

Making accessible print/text and e-communications: CDAC 

Making reading materials accessible: CDAC 

Guidelines for communication access: CDAC 

Accessible forms and negotiating signature arrangements: CDAC

Slide 16: Expressive Communication

Communicating with people who have communication disabilities. CDAC

Slide 26: Communication Assistance for Expressive Communication

Free online training program for people who provide communication assistance: CDAC 

Slide 31: Decision Making Support

A Good Life: Al Etmanski. Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN)

A book to inspire you to develop a Personal Future Plan with your loved one.

The Trobe Support for Decision making Practice Framework Learning Resources

This online learning resource is for supporters of people with intellectual disabilities and people with acquired brain injury.  It provides an evidence-based framework to support people to make decisions.

Decision Making in Health Care of Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Surrey Place Centre.

This tool provides practical steps to help healthcare providers meet their obligation to respect the decision-making rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Decision making Supports for Adults with Cognitive Disability: Scope, Australia

A series of resources to help families, carers, disability support workers, and legal professionals support people with cognitive disability make decisions.

Slide 32: Talking Mats

Talking Mats:  Stirling University

Talking Mats is communication resource and strategy used by clinical practitioners, and support workers in a wide range of health, social work, residential and education settings. Training and resources are available via Talking Mats.

Slide 33: Decision Making Topic Boards

Slide 38: Speech Language Pathology and Augmentative Communication Services

International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Canada:

Speech Audiology Canada:

Communication intermediaries for police, legal and justice situations: CDAC:

Slide 39: Policies and Documentation

Communication Support Documentation Guidelines: CDAC