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Access Checklist

The best way to find out how accessible your business or organization is for people who have speech and language disabilities (SLDs) is to ask someone who has a SLD. However, here are some things you should consider:

Respect and Privacy

1. Are you friendly towards people with SLDs?

2. Do you treat people with SLDs in a respectful way?

3. Do you talk directly to people with SLDs?

4. Do you take people with SLDs seriously?

5. Are you patient when communicating with people who have SLDs?

6. Do you respect the privacy of people with SLDs?


1. Do you respond to people with SLDs when they try to get your attention?

2. Do you assume that people with SLDs can understand what you are saying, unless they tell you otherwise?

3. Do you ask people with SLDs what you can do to make communication go smoothly?

4. Do you follow instructions from people with SLDs on what they want you to do when communicating with them?

5. Do you let people with SLDs use the communication method that they want to use?

6. Do you tell people with SLDs if you don’t understand their message?

7. Do you give people with SLDs opportunities to clarify their message if you don’t understand the first time?

8. If people with SLDs use a communication assistant, do you speak directly to them and allow them to direct their assistant?


1. Do you give people with SLDs the time they need to communicate?

2. Can people with SLDs book extra time for an appointment?

3. Do people with SLDs get service in a timely manner?

4. Do people with SLDs have to wait longer than other people for service?


1. Do you have quiet places for conversation?

2. Is your service area well lit?

3. Are things positioned where people with SLDs can see them?

4. Are the service desks at a level for someone who uses a wheelchair?


1. Are the signs easy to see and understand?

2. Is the communication symbol displayed and do you know what it means?


1. Does the receptionist know how to communicate with people with SLDs over the phone?

2. Can people with SLDs use email or text instead of the phone?

3. Can people with SLDs use an assistant over the phone?


1. Are your brochures and documents easy to handle and read?

2. Are your documents easy to understand?

3. Do you have Plain Language versions of your documents?


1. Are your forms easy to read and understand?

2. Are your forms easy to fill out?

3. Are your forms available in larger font?

4. Can the forms be emailed so that people with SLDs can complete them on their computer?

5. Can people with SLDs save the form on their computer if they need to take a break before submitting it?

6. Can people with SLDs use their typing software (e.g. prediction and spelling checkers) when they complete your form?

7. Is there someone available to assist people with SLDs completing forms if needed?

8. Does your organization accept how people with SLDs sign documents?


1. Can people with SLDs audio record a session instead of writing notes?

2. Is there someone who can assist people with SLDs in taking notes or writing down appointment times and instructions?


1. Do you send out the agenda ahead of time?

2. Do you provide communication assistants?

Healthcare, emergency, police, legal and justice services

Communication is important in all situations, however it is critical when using essential services. People who work in essential services need to have all the above items in place. In addition they should ask the following questions:

1. Are there staff members who are trained in how to communicate with people who have SLDs?

2. Do staff know how and when to get a communication assistant or intermediary?

3. Are communication boards with essential vocabulary available?

Communication Access Checklist PDF