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Registrar's Message

Council Highlights

College Updates


Practice Advice


Quality Assurance


Complaints and Hearings

Feature Articles

ex•press | Volume 1 - Issue 1 | May 2015

Registrar's Message

Brian O'Riordan, Registrar

Welcome to ex•press!

The publication you are reading now, ex·press, is CASLPO's new, exciting, informative e-newletter! This new name, this simple word "ex·press", says so much about what we value as a College and what you face every day as professionals:

ex·press says:

Now for the content… Last year you told us what you wanted and today we are delivering. You will see as you scroll though this publication that in response to our membership surveys, we have made the content much more accessible. Whether you're interested in practice advice, the latest updates on standards of practice or a variety of hot button topics, you simply have to click on the graphic icon for that section and there you have the information. You can read it online, with your mobile device, or print it up for later reading. As ex·press is published, we will be storing all back issues on our website, under "Resources", which will be searchable and printable.

Once you've had a chance to read this new publication, we would very much like your feedback. Please tell us what you like, what you'd like to see in future publications, or how else we might meet your information needs.

Thank you.

Feedback: [email protected]

Council Highlights

The council of CASLPO, which governs the College, meets quarterly in open session throughout the year.  A schedule of meetings is posted on the College website, as well as meeting agenda and materials.  Any member of the College and the public are welcome to observe the proceedings.  Meetings usually take place on Fridays beginning at 9:30am and ending at 4:00pm.

The meetings are chaired by the President of the Council.  Currently, that individual is Scott Whyte, a Public Member. The Council is composed of up to 18 individuals, serving usually three-year terms.  Nine members are elected by the membership of the College, with six Speech-Language Pathologists and three Audiologists.  There are also two academic members, nominated by the University programs in SLP and AUD in the province.  Up to seven pubic members are appointed by the government of Ontario.  They cannot be health care professionals.

Recently, Council has focused much of its deliberations on issues relating to "Transparency", formulating a new three-year Strategic Plan for 2015-18.  It also recently approved the audited Financial Statement for 2013-14 and agreed to the consultative circulation to members of the new "Practice Standard and Guidelines on Acquired Cognitive Communication Disorders."

Council also honoured three departing members of Council for their outstanding service to the College:  Mary Suddick (SLP), District 2, 2006-2015, Carolyn Moran (SLP), District 5, 2009-2015, Pauline Faubert (Public Member), 2006-2015.  Council also welcomed a new Public Member, Satpaul Singh Johal, of Brampton.
As well, Council inducted Joanne Shimotakahara (SLP) to the Honour Roll of the College "in recognition of outstanding contributions to furthering the mission of the College and fulfilling its mandate and objects relating to the regulation of the professions in Ontario in the public interest."

CASLPO President, Scott Whyte and Mary Suddick (SLP) District 2, 2006-2015
CASLPO President, Scott Whyte and Carolyn Moran (SLP) District 5, 2009-2015
CASLPO President, Scott Whyte and Pauline Faubert (Public Member) 2006-2015
CASLPO President, Scott Whyte and Joanne Shimotakahara (SLP) College Honour Roll 2015


College Updates

Staffing Changes

After ten years of exemplary service as the College's Director of Finance and Operations, Gregory Katchin recently retired.  After an open and competitive process, Ruth Cimerman, is the new Director.  Ruth is a Chartered Accountant, with experience in both the private and not for profit sectors, most recently with Medic Alert.

We have also strengthened our resources in the area of Complaints and Discipline, with the addition of Iris Samson, who is assisting our General Counsel and Director of Professional Conduct, Melisse Willems and Deputy Registrar, Carol Bock. This re-organization has enabled Lisa Gibson to provide greater focus on the College's Communications initiatives and projects relating to both members and the public.

Election Day is May 25

One of the key pillars of self-regulation is that those regulated get to elect those that govern them.  This year, there will be an election for three-year terms on Council for seats in District 2, (Central and GTA). In District 2, all members will be electing two individuals, one audiologist and one SLP.  Sandi Singbeil (SLP), a current member of Council has been acclaimed in District 4 (Northwestern Ontario) for another term on Council.  This is your chance to take advantage of the personally and professionally rewarding opportunity to participate in the self-regulation of the professions in the public interest.

Electronic voting is scheduled to take place for District 2 starting Friday April 24, 2015.  Important - Watch for an email from Brian O'Riordan, Registrar that will include your customized, secure link for you to begin the electronic voting process.  The deadline for receipt of completed electronic voting ballots will be Monday, May 25, 2015.  For members in District 5, an election will be held later in the summer. 

Feedback: [email protected]


Peer Assessment:  Changes for 2015

Changes in the peer assessment selection process

Initial Selection for Peer Assessment

If you are a new General member who has completed the CASLPO mentorship program you will not be selected for peer assessment for three years.  You have just completed an extensive Initial Practice Period based on the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT), and the College appreciates that you do not have a large selection of patient/client records from which to choose and submit for assessment, and have not had time to reflect on your practice.

However, if you are a new General member who has worked as an audiologist or speech language pathologist in another jurisdiction, you will be included in the peer assessment selection pool starting the January after your General registration was granted.

Timeframe for Reselection

If you have been peer assessed you won't be in the selection pool again for ten years. This is a major change, it used to be five years. Research into the effectiveness of the peer assessment process shows that the positive benefits last for more than five years (Norman, O'Donovan and Campbell, In Press). 

This change is retroactive, if you were peer assessed in 2009, you won't be in the selection pool until January 2020. Also, this change means that more members will be selected for peer assessment as fewer members will be assessed twice.  This, we hope, will be seen as a fair, responsive, effective and equitable change.

Philosophy Of Peer Assessment
  • CASLPO operates on the premise that you are a competent clinician who provides high quality care to your patients.
  • The Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) is a reflective instrument designed to allow you to identify opportunities for growth and change.
  • Peer assessment is based on the SAT, so that you are objectively evaluated on the same standards that you use to assess yourself.
  • Peer assessment provides you with objective feedback on your practices.
  • Peer assessment is a mechanism to affirm to the public that members are continuously meeting professional standards.
  • Peer assessment is an opportunity to confirm that you are meeting or surpassing professional standards in your work and to show your professional development and continuous learning. It also helps to identify areas that may benefit from improvement.

The Peer Assessment Process is well underway for 2015.  Please support your colleagues as they go through this important Quality Assurance process.
For more information, click here.


Research Corner Is On The Move

CASLPO undertook an exciting initiative in 2012 to inform you of the latest research in the field of speech language pathology and audiology through the "Research Corner" in CASLPO Today. We are pleased to report that the Ontario Speech Language Pathology and Audiology Association (OSLA) will be taking over "Research Corner".

Why The Move?

One of OSLA's roles is to provide education to members about research and development concerning clinical intervention.  The College's role is to educate and update members about legislation, regulations and standards and how it applies to practice so that the public is protected.

What Do I Do?

Submit your recently published abstracts to OSLA at [email protected] with the publication information. OSLA will post the abstracts on their website so that your important research findings will be shared with your speech language pathology and audiology colleagues. 

The criteria are as follows:


New and Revised CASLPO Documents

Since you last received an issue of CASLPO Today, we have been very busy! You will have received many emails about much of our work, but here is a quick and easy summary:

Newly published documents:


Draft documents circulated for your feedback:



Being Transparent and Open - The Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Weighs In

About six months ago, the Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins wrote to all self-regulatory health care Colleges in the province, including CASLPO, asking them to make "Transparency" an operational and governance priority.  As well, he asked them to "take concrete steps to develop and establish measures that will continuously increase transparency in College processes and decision-making, and that will make more information available to Ontarians." 

The Minister's letter followed 18 months of very negative media coverage concerning complaint outcomes involving some Colleges (not including CASLPO).  As well, the media accused Colleges of not being transparent enough with respect to their procedures and the measures imposed on members involved in complaint matters.  In fact, Colleges have kept much of this information confidential in order to facilitate and respect the remedial nature of the outcomes of the decisions of College Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committees (ICRC).  We believe that our College's remedial measures have been used appropriately and in the interest of public protection.  These outcomes include:

However, it is clear that the government and the public believes more transparency is necessary in order to enhance public trust and protection.  The Council of CASLPO also believes that we must respond positively in the public interest and explore what transparency initiatives should be considered going forward.  This belief is now clearly shared by all of our sister regulatory Colleges.

CASLPO responded to the Minister's letter on November 28, 2014.

The College committed to be more open and transparent by considering several Transparency measures, including:

Membership Consultations

Committees of council are now carefully considering many issues relating to Transparency and analyzing them within the context of the eight Transparency Principles which Council endorsed last year.

CASLPO's committees are currently in the process of considering whether the College should make additional information public about ICRC outcomes, Discipline cases and other matters.  Recommendations from these committees will be provided to Council at its June meeting. Should Council decide that it is in the public interest to publish some or all of this information, the College will need to amend its by-laws. Before making any by-law changes, the College will be consulting with relevant stakeholders, including members. We anticipate that consultation will take place after the June Council meeting and into the fall.

For more information, see the Transparency Not Moved Forward area on the College website.

By Brian O'Riordan,

Practice Advice

Records and signing records: charting in complex times

Alexandra Carling Rowland, Ph.D., Director of Professional Practice and Quality Assurance

We want to help you understand and integrate charting and signing requirements for the patient record in an ever changing practice environment.

Please note:
Patient record, record and chart are synonymous terms.

The term "patient" is used to describe an individual who receives health care intervention from a speech language pathologist or audiologist and is synonymous with "client" or "student". The use of the term "Patient" mirrors the language used in the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 and by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

For many of us, gone are the days of being the only speech language pathologist (SLP) or audiologist to work with a patient and having a paper record to chart our intervention.  The work environment has changed considerably, we are now charting in multiple formats, including electronic; using support personnel; seeing patients in groups; or seeing patients with other regulated or unregulated professionals.  How does this impact charting in the patient record?

It is worthwhile looking at the underlying principles and purposes of record keeping to help negotiate the different practice environments.

What is a Record and what is its purpose?

A patient record is the official record of events from the initial referral to your last contact with the patient. In other words, who did what, why, where, when and to whom. CASLPO's Proposed Records Regulation 2011 outlines what must be included in the record from the College's perspective.

The purpose of patient records is to protect the public by ensuring minimum standards are maintained and safe and ethical practice occurs across all service settings.

College Principles and Requirements

Following a principled approach to regulation and charting, all patient records, regardless of the environment, must be accessible, complete, correct and retained.

Member Principles

From your perspective, the principles of charting include being a vehicle of reliable communication, demonstrating clinical judgement and accountability and risk management.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: We have moved to electronic records, what are my requirements regarding my signature?

A: We are familiar with the concept of signing our name at the end of a chart note or a report to show that we are accountable for the information documented. Some members are uncomfortable that this is missing with electronic charting and have asked if they need to cut and paste a written signature. This is not necessary, with many electronic systems you need a password to access the patient record, and by virtue of this singular access, it is evident who made the entry.  This is sufficient evidence that you are accountable for the information you documented in the patient record.

Q: In my role as a school board audiologist, I screen the hearing of all students in senior kindergarten.  Do I have to create individual records for all of them, even the ones with no hearing issues?

A: No, you do not have to create an individual patient record for every child that passes your hearing screen. However, you are required to keep some documentation. Refer to the Proposed Records Regulation 2011 section on Group Screening (6.2 (b,c,d,e)). In this scenario, you must document the patient's name, the group to which they belong (senior kindergarten, Maple Street School) the date of the hearing screen and the results, even, if they are normal. You also need to document that you obtained consent to screen as set out in the Proposed Records Regulation and in Obtaining Consent for Services: A Guide for SLPs and Audiologists

Some members keep separate sheets for each patient in one folder and others create a form that meets all of the requirements as stated above. Whatever you decide to use, the documentation must be retained according to the Proposed Records Regulation, 8.1.

Q: Do I need to include my full name and professional title when I make a chart entry?

A: The Proposed Records Regulation 2011 states the following:

6. (4) The member shall ensure that every entry in a patient/client health record is dated and includes the identity of the person who made or dictated the entry.

Your name (as provided to CASLPO) and professional title (identity) should be visible on the chart. On a paper chart this might be your first patient record entry, e.g., Alexandra Carling-Rowland, Speech-Language Pathologist. If the chart is electronic, the information must be included somewhere, so check with your IT department if you are unsure. 

Each subsequent signature at the end of your chart note can be abbreviated, even to the extent of using initials, so long as there is a reference somewhere to indicate to whom the initials refer, e.g., A.C-R, SLP.
CASLPO has no specific requirements regarding the documentation of your academic credentials or your registration with the College. However, many members like to include this information, e.g., A Carling-Rowland, Ph.D. SLP, Reg. CASLPO

Q: There are occasions when I have to call a hearing aid manufacturer to ask a question about a patient's hearing aids or to discuss options for the repair of a patient's hearing aids. Do I need to document these types of communications?

A: Yes.  Any and all communication that takes place with regard to one of your patients should be documented in that patient's record. As the Proposed Records Regulation states, Section 6(1)

(b) the date and purpose of each professional contact with the patient/client, and whether the contact was made in person, telephone or electronically;

Q: When two professionals complete a joint assessment of a patient/client and they use an electronic charting system, who is responsible for documentation in the record?

A: The Proposed Records Regulation 2011 directs you to follow the regulation.

1. A member shall, when working with others, take all reasonable steps to ensure that records are made, used, maintained, retained and disclosed in accordance with this Regulation.

However, some of our intervention is interdisciplinary, and, at times, it makes sense to write one joint patient record entry.  This is acceptable, as long as you take reasonable steps to ensure that the record is in accordance with the College's regulation.  If you decide to document the joint assessment results there is no issue.  If it makes sense for the dietitian or occupational therapist (OT), for example, to document the assessment, you should read their entry to ensure  that it is clear that you were part of the assessment, as well as the accuracy of the assessment results: 

6. 1. (e) the nature and results of each assessment relating to the patient/client, each clinical finding and any recommendations made by the member;

You would then refer to the joint assessment documentation in your section of the patient record. This reference ensures that the patient record is complete and directs you to access the dietitian's or OT's documentation should a patient or third party request a copy of the patient record.

Q: I work with support personnel, am I required to co-sign all of their entries?

A: You are not required to co-sign every entry, as long as there is documentation to reflect that you assigned the activities to the support personnel and that you are maintaining appropriate supervision.  Some members like to co-sign as evidence to show supervision. Refer to The Use of Support Personnel by Speech-Language Pathologists , Section C 1 (d), and The Use of Support Personnel by Audiologists, Section E(2).

The member also needs to ensure that there is a clear indication of:

CASLPO has resources for you

Visit our website

Practice Advice Team

Please contact one of us if you have any further questions.

Alexandra Carling-Rowland, Director of Professional Practice and Quality Assurance
[email protected]

Jodi Ostroff, Coordinator of the Audiology Professional Practice Program; English/French-language
[email protected]

Sarah Chapman-Jay, Speech Language Pathology Practice Advisor; English-language
[email protected]

David Beattie, Speech Language Pathology Practice Advisor, French-language
[email protected]

CASLPO does not provide legal advice. Also, Practice Advice is provided in response to specific inquiries and may not be relevant in all circumstances. The Practice Advice Program is intended to support but not replace professional judgment.



Membership Suspensions For Non-Payment Of Fees

Colleen Myrie,
Director of Registration Services

The Health Professions Procedural Code of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 requires information about suspended members to be available to the public. 

The following individuals are currently under suspension for failing to pay their annual fees for 2014/2015 in accordance with section 24 of the Code:












































While under suspension:

  1. The individual is not permitted to practice as an audiologist or as a speech-language pathologist in Ontario.
  2. The individual is prohibited from using the titles "audiologist", "speech-language pathologist" or "speech therapist" or a variation or abbreviation or an equivalent in another language in Ontario.
  3. The individual is prohibited from holding himself or herself out as a person who is qualified to practice as an audiologist or a speech-language pathologist in Ontario.
  4. The College will inform the individual's last employer on record of the individual's suspension.
  5. A notation of the suspension appears indefinitely in the College's public register.


Quality Assurance

Self-Assessment Tool: How did you do?

Congratulations to the 3,238 members who successfully submitted the Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) by the January 31, 2015 deadline.

2015 was a tremendous success regarding submission of the 2015 SAT.  We have one of the highest rates of compliance for submission of the SAT in comparison with other health regulated colleges.  Also, this was the first year that you had to document your 2014 Continuous Learning Activity Credits (CLACs) as well as complete your 2015 SAT.

SAT Submission Data




General/Academic members



Submitted by deadline

3,084 (92%)   

3,238 (95%)




Changed Membership



Missed 31/01 deadline

235 (7%) 

146 (4%)

The College takes very seriously its role to regulate the two professions of audiology and speech language pathology in the public interest.  Ensuring quality practice is one of the best ways to protect the public.

The Quality Assurance Committee has reviewed all the members who did not meet the submission deadline and has taken appropriate action.                                                         

Non-Clinical Self Assessment Tool

As a result of your feedback in 2014, a Non-Clinical SAT was developed to better represent the roles and responsibilities for members in administration, management, education, research and sales. We would like to thank the focus group who helped the College and the Quality Assurance Committee with this task.

Terri Cooper Talk 2 Me, Essex-Kent Pre School Program
Deborah Cousineau North Western Health Unit Pre School Program
Jacquie Van Lankveld Niagara Children's Centre
Christiane Kyte Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board
Vesna Fernandez Thames Valley District School Board
Rex Banks Canadian Hearing Society
Barbara Zupan Brock University
Pam Millet York University
Jack Scott Western University
Meredith Wright The Ottawa Hospital
Deb Zelisko Lifestyle Hearing
Heather Heaman Heaman Communication Services
Aura Kagan The Aphasia Institute
Catriona Steele University Hospitals Network, University of Toronto

We rolled out the Non-Clinical SAT this year and 167 members completed the Tool.

Your feedback

To date, 468 members have completed the survey sent out to the membership on February 23, 2015 via e-mail. The response rate has been excellent, 436 SAT and 32 NC-SAT (13% response rate).

The issues identified by members which will be discussed by the Quality Assurance Committee are as follows:

Stay tuned as changes are made to improve the process further for 2016.    

Alexandra Carling-Rowland Ph.D. Director of Professional Practice and Quality Assurance



How the Quality Assurance program applies to Initial Practice Registrants?

As an Initial Practice Registrant (IPR) you do not have to submit your Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) until the year following the year you become a General Member.

As an IPR you will become well versed in the Quality Assurance Program as you proceed through your mentorship. Consequently, CASLPO has slightly different requirements for you as you change from an IPR to a General member.

Self-Assessment Tool:
The mentoring program for IPRs is based on the SAT. For this reason you are not required to submit the SAT to the College in the year in which you change your registration category from IPR to General. You will be required to submit your SAT in all subsequent years, by January 31. For example, if you change your registration category from IPR to General Member in February 2015, you will be required to submit your SAT in the following year, which would be January 31, 2016.

Peer Assessment:
Once the IPR becomes a General member, they will not be selected for peer assessment for the first three years of their General membership, since the mentoring period provides the College with sufficient assurance that the member is following the standards of practice.

Access to the Self Assessment Tool online is either though our website,, or directly by clicking here.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] or phone us at 416-975-5347 or 1-800-993-9459

more Dead link on old site

Complaints and Hearings

The Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee of College Council deals with complaints and reports about member conduct. The following summary of a recent complaint case is provided for information and education. In a recent complaint matter, the ICRC dealt with a concern about an audiologist who had treated the complainant's young son. The child had complained of a sudden hearing loss in one ear. The member assessed the child and determined that there was no hearing loss, although his test results indicated a poorer than expected word recognition score. She recommended follow-up in three months' time, which was adjusted to one month at the request of the child's mother. At the follow-up appointment, the child was seen by another audiologist who recommended that the child be immediately seen by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist. The child was seen by the ENT two weeks later who recommended a course of prednisone be prescribed by his family doctor. The child completed the course of prednisone but it did not have any effect. The child now has permanent unilateral hearing loss. The complainant questioned whether the hearing loss could have been prevented if her son had been put on the prednisone sooner (although she acknowledged this could not be known in hindsight) and raised concerns about the member's failure to investigate the matter further or send the child for a second opinion in light of her admittedly inconsistent findings.

The ICRC decided to issue a written caution to the member and to direct the member to complete a specified continuing education or remediation program (SCERP) regarding the importance of recognizing when a situation extends beyond her own knowledge, skill and judgement and therefore requires consultation with or referral to another professional (e.g. audiologist or ENT). The ICRC took into account the fact that the member was at an early stage in her career as an audiologist and that she could benefit from a mentoring session with a more experienced member to discuss concepts of referrals and sudden hearing loss.

It is important for all members to appreciate and respect the boundaries of their own knowledge, skill and judgment and to seek the assistance of others when faced with situations that extend past these boundaries. Even experienced members can encounter such situations, for example, when receiving referrals for complex patients with multiple diagnoses, patients with rare syndromes and when members move from one area of practice to another. The College's practice advice service is also available to assist members in these cases and members are encouraged to call or email the College with their questions.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Melisse Willems, Director of Professional Conduct and General Counsel at [email protected] or 416-975-5347 ext. 221.


Feature Articles

Welcome to the Newly Designed CASLPO website

Early in November 2014, the College completely redesigned its website.  The "soft launch" enabled us to review the content and functionality and improve both even further.  Information is now easy to find and is accessible for all audiences to use. 

Our Objectives

Our primary goal is to provide you with clear, relevant and timely information so that you can stay up-to-date with regulatory matters and standards of practice. Our secondary goal is to develop an integrated approach to communication. Multiple communication channels such as group emails, our e-newsletter and the website will be used to send key messages.

Changes that will enhance your experience

Look and Feel:

The College's logo needed to be refreshed and updated while preserving the integrity of the existing brand.  The refreshed logo and new colour palette inspired a contemporary look to the website's redesign.

The Visitor Experience:

Public:  The goal of this section is to give the public an increased understanding of the College's mandate and how self-regulation works. Information demonstrates how regulated members are held to high standards in their provision of accountable and ethical care.

The public is also helped to find a speech language pathologist or audiologist and make informed decisions about their choice of health care professional. 

Members:  The member section provides you with a wealth of information to help you with your work and your regulation requirements. Whether you need to know about registration renewal, how to change your membership category, when to submit your Self-Assessment Tool or a particular practice standard; the easy-to-navigate website will point you in the right direction. 

New sections have been added such as "Practice Advice" which contains all of the practice advice articles from previous editions of CASLPO Today. Archived issues of "Did You Know?..." are also available for you.

You can click on ex·press, our new online newsletter or read past editions of CASLPO Today. You can also review the College's Annual Reports, including the financial statements.

Finally, the password-protected Member Portal is available from any page. Just click on Member Portal in the top navigation area. 

Applicants:  This section of the website includes an introduction to regulation, and information on how to apply to the College, whether you are a Canadian or International applicant. Material on the Initial Practice Period is also available.

Other new areas:

Who We Are If you want to review the College's vision, mission and mandate statements, find out about Council and committees or   retrieve contact information for staff, just click on "Who We Are".

Employers:  This new section includes position statements on the Use of Support Personnel, Initial Practice Period forms and guidelines and information about Peer Assessment.

You will also find links for the following sections:

What can you expect next?

We will continue to review and change CASLPO's website to increase public awareness, promote engagement with you our CASLPO members, and enhance the navigation experience for all visitors.

We value your input. Take a look and tell us what you think.


If you have any questions or comments about our website, please contact:

Lisa Gibson [email protected]



Accessibility Includes Communication

Barbara Collier, Executive Director, Conference of Defense Associations

On March 11, 2010, Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and it entered into force on April 12, 2010. In doing so, Canada committed to ensuring inclusion and equal access to goods and services for all people who have disabilities, including people who have communication disabilities that are not caused by hearing loss.

Accessibility and human rights legislation is currently evolving on a provincial level across Canada. Some disability groups are clearly benefiting from this legislation. For example, people with mobility disabilities have ramps to get into buildings, door openers and curb cuts; people who have sensory disabilities can have documents in alternate formats and people who are Deaf can request sign language interpreting services. However, many people who have communication disabilities continue to experience inequitable access to goods, services and opportunities because their accessibility requirements are not well understood, inadequately represented in existing regulations and frequently omitted from accessibility guidelines (Collier, McGhie Richmond, & Self, H. 2010).  In a recent scan of human rights legislation across the country, we discovered that people who have communication disabilities are typically not engaged on provincial or municipal accessibility advisory committees and their communication accessibility requirements are omitted in most of the existing documents.  

As a national, non-profit organization, Communication Disabilities Access Canada (CDAC) focuses on accessibility, inclusion and human rights for people who have communication disabilities.  You can find out about our work and projects at

In 2010, we conducted a national survey and published our findings on what accessibility means for people who have different types of communication disabilities (Collier, Blackstone, & Taylor, 2012).  Based on that research, we define communication access as what businesses and organizations can do so that people can:

Communication access includes the domains of face-to-face interactions between two people or in group situations; telephone communication; reading and handling text and print materials; use of the Internet, e-communications and social media, and written communication. While people who have communication disabilities have individual communication access requirements, there are a number of general accessibility accommodations that businesses and organizations can do to improve communication access to their services.

We developed the communication access symbol to promote awareness of communication access.  It is available on our website and we encourage everyone to download it, display it and tell people about it.

Communication Access Now (CAN)
From 2013 to 2016, with a grant from Social Development Partnerships Program, we are implementing a national promotion strategy, called Communication Access Now (CAN) to increase awareness of communication access for people with communication disabilities. Working across Canada, CAN regional coordinators in British Columbia, Prairies, Ontario and Atlantic Canada are providing input to legislators and policy makers on ways to include the needs of this population in their accessibility legislation.  On a community level we are supporting key sectors in ways they can make their services accessible for people with communication disabilities and on an individual basis, we are sharing information via the speech-language pathology sector with people who have communication disabilities about communication accessibility rights and responsibilities.

Ontario Activities
In Ontario, we have laws that obligate businesses and organizations to create access to goods and services, employment, transportation, customer service, and to information and communication. The Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure is currently responsible for implementing the accessibility standards necessary to achieve the purposes of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). As part of that process, CDAC participated on the customer service standards committee and we continue to share information with Ontario's Accessibility Directorate on ways to embed communication access requirements that are meaningful and inclusive of all people with communication disabilities. Over the past year, we provided input to Dean Mayo Moran's independent review of the AODA.  In her final report, Dean Moran states, "Individuals with speech and language disabilities, not caused by hearing loss believe standards should more fully outline requirements for communications assistance, especially in essential services." She also recommends the development of accessibility standards for healthcare and education which are two key sectors identified as needing to improve communication access by people with communication disabilities.

In addition to working with policy makers, we have shared the CAN message with many organizations and communities. We are beginning to see results. Some examples include municipal governments including communication disabilities, not caused by hearing loss, in their accessibility materials and committing to include a person with a communication disability on their accessibility panels; people with communication disabilities using the CAN access card to tell businesses and organizations what they can do to make their services accessible to them; the City of Toronto providing communication assistants at a public meeting; Service Ontario including the CAN e-learning modules as part of their staff training; the police service in Windsor displaying the communication access symbol and informing people with communication disabilities that they will provide a communication intermediary if required.  Slowly, the CAN message is spreading and the symbol can be seen across the country.

Ways to get involved
Here are some ways you can get involved.  You will find all these resources and more on our website.
Email: [email protected]

For more information, contact Nora Rothschild, Ontario CAN Regional Coordinator at [email protected]



CASLPO Forum to replace Regional Seminars:
changes to Communications with the membership

CASLPO is constantly seeking to improve communications with you the members.  We have redesigned our website, provided more practice advice support and developed more online services. Now we are focussing on our face-to-face communication.

We would like to introduce CASLPO Forum which will replace the "Regional Seminars".

We will still visit different areas of the province every year to meet with you face-to-face, but, as a result of your feedback on Regional Seminars, we will be changing our focus.

A forum is defined as "a place or opportunity to discuss a subject".  We want to make CASLPO Forum more interactive and give you an opportunity to discuss your issues as they relate to the College, regulations and standards of practice.  Our three goals are:

For our new members, we will be recording four short presentations which will be available on our website: 

After you have watched the presentations, if you have any questions bring them to the forum.

CASLPO Forum, 2015

To celebrate May is Speech and Hearing Month, our first CASLPO forum will be held at the CASLPO offices here in Toronto.  This is an opportunity for the CASLPO staff to meet you in person, for you to see where we work as well as participating in the forum.

CASLPO Forum 1

Toronto (District 2)
Thursday May 28th 2015, 4.30 pm to 6.30pm
CASLPO Offices, 3080 Yonge Street, Toronto
Maximum 50 members, plus webinar

CASLPO Forum 2

Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph (District 3)
June 18th 2015, 4.30 pm to 6.30pm
Freeport Rehabilitation Centre, Grand River Hospital, Kitchener.

CASLPO Forum 3

North Bay (District 4)
September 2015, date to be confirmed
North Bay Regional Health Centre
Webinar: OTN

CASLPO Forum 4

Kingston (District 1)
October 2015, date to be confirmed
Limestone District School Board, Kingston


Finally, in 2015 we will be rolling out CASLPO forums via live webinar.  These 90 minute sessions will focus on specific topics that frequently arise in Practice Advice phone calls and e-mails.  The first three will be:

Stay tuned for confirmation of dates and further information about venues.


Please don't hesitate to contact me:

Alexandra Carling-Rowland Ph.D. SLP Reg. CASLPO
Director of Professional Practice and Quality Assurance
[email protected]
416 975 5347 or 1800 993 9459 ex 226

© 2024 CASLPO

© 2024 CASLPO

This website is intended to provide information to the public and registrants. Should there be difference in documentation previously distributed to CASLPO registrants, it is up to the registrant to source the latest version posted on the CASLPO website. Note: the term "member" and "registrant" are used interchangeably throughout CASLPO's website and documents. Both terms are synonymous with "member" as defined in the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Act, 1991, and the Regulations under those Acts.