Communication Access to Justice

May 31, 2022



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Presented by: Caitlin Buchel, RSLP (C),

Executive Director, Communication Access to Justice

Seminar description:

Individuals with speech, language and/or communication disabilities have a right to equality under Canadian law. There are, however, many barriers in place that can make accessing justice almost impossible for people with communication disabilities.

Communication Intermediaries (CIs) are registered speech language pathologists (SLPs), trained to facilitate two-way communication between individuals with communication disabilities and justice professionals. Like language translators, CIs act as neutral officers of the court. They provide the accommodations needed for individuals with communication disabilities to have equitable access to legal, police, corrections, and justice services in Canada.

CI’s are trained to work within the Canadian justice system to ensure that the necessary communication supports are in place, without negatively impacting the impartiality of the justice process.

Unfortunately, knowledge about CIs and their role in accommodating communication disabilities in the justice system is still limited. This webinar will provide you with information about the role of the CI, how CIs work, and information about how to access a CI if you or another individual with a communication disability needs one.


About the presenter:

Caitlin Buchel is a speech-language pathologist (SLP), Communication Intermediary (CI), and the Executive Director of Communication Access to Justice (CAJust). CAJust is a national non-profit organization that promotes equal access to the justice system for people with speech, language and/or communication disabilities. CAJust has taken on this mandate from Communication Disabilities Access Canada (CDAC), building on CDAC’s decades of work in this area. Caitlin has worked as a CI in a variety of settings including police/RCMP statements and lineups, courtrooms, and restorative justice.


Participants will learn:

  • the definition of a communication intermediary (CI)
  • how CIs work within the Canadian justice system
  • when a CI is needed
  • what to expect when working with a CI
  • how to access a CI



  • Financial:  Caitlin Buchel is not being paid for her participation. Caitlin is the executive director of CAJust and while she does not receive a salary, she does receive compensation for some of the hours she works for the organization. She is currently actively working as a CI in Manitoba. Caitlin is the owner and managing clinician of Buchel Speech and Language Group – a private SLP practice in Manitoba.
  • Non-financial: none


Communication Access to Justice presentation slides.