Communication Supports in Exercising Capacity, Choice and Autonomy

In 2010, Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Recognition that people with disabilities enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis is at the core of Article 12 of the CRPD.  Article 12 clarifies that this requires that people have access to the supports they may need to communicate and/or make decisions. Canada is now obligated to implement Article 12.

With funding from Employment Social Development Canada, CDAC has developed an online resource that describes implications of Article 12 for people who have disabilities that affect communication when revealing and exercising their capacity to communicate and/or make decisions that matter to them. The resource provides recommendations for practices, policies and procedures to guide healthcare, legal, justice, financial, and social services in identifying and providing the supports people may require to communicate and/or make decisions.

CDAC believes that communication is the foundation for implementing Article 12, regardless of whether an individual makes decisions independently, with assistance from trusted people or relies on a substitute decision-maker to make decisions on their behalf, based on their known will and preferences. 

We encourage our colleagues in the communication disability sector to play an active role in promoting how this legislation can be used to protect the rights of people to exercise choice, decisions and autonomy in their lives by:

Supporting CDAC Webinars and Resources

  1. Communication and Capacity: Context and Guiding Principles (Barbara Collier)
  2. Communication Disabilities: Barriers and Impact on Choice and Control (Barbara Collier)
  3. Legal Context for Exercising Capacity and Provision of Communication Supports (Lana Kerzner)
  4. Communication Supports: Formal, Symbolic Communicators (Barbara Collier)
  5. Communication Supports: Informal, Non-Symbolic Communicators (Jo Watson)

Moving Forward

Submitted by:
Barbara Collier Reg. CASLPO, F. ISAAC
Executive Director