What is Communicated Disorders Assistant?

Aim to Communicate


The use of supportive personnel in the field of communication disorders is increasing. Communicative Disorders Assistants (CDAs) work together with Speech and Language Pathologists to carry out therapy goals for people from all walks of life.  Using specialized training, tools, and techniques, they help transform the lives of individuals and families through effective communication.

Copyright – CDAAC

CDAs have all of the following:

  • A diploma and/or an undergraduate degree, typically in human services or social sciences,
  • A post-graduate CDA diploma or certificate,
  • And, in most cases, prior work or volunteer experience in the field of communication disorders.

CDAs training covers all of the following areas


Speech (including anatomy and physiology, sound acquisition and developmental errors, phonological processes, apraxia, dysarthria, transcribing using the international phonetic alphabet, fluency and voice),


Language (including typical development, special populations, language sampling and calculating mean length of utterance),


Pragmatic language involves understanding social language skills that are involved in everyday life when interacting with others. This includes what we say, how we say it and when to say something. Pragmatics involves three major skills:

  • Using language for different purposes (greetings, commenting, requesting etc)
  • Changing language according to the listener or the situation (talking to a teacher vs a friend)
  • Following rules for conversation (turn taking, topic maintenance, back and forth conversations and understanding non-verbal cues – facial expressions, eye contact.

Audiology (including anatomy of the ear, basic audiometric screenings and hearing aid technology),

communication disorders

And two 6-8 week placements in the field of communication disorders.

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ATC’s overall objective is to help children of all ages and cultures to reach their full communication, social and academic potential.