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Communication Access Training and Assessment

Good communication is good business. Are you being inclusive by providing equal access?

Good Communication is good practice

Communication access aims to eliminate communication barriers so that everyone can get their message across, no matter how they communicate.

Did you know:

  • More than 1.1 million Australians have a communication disorder
  • 13,000 Australians use electronic communication aids to get their message across
  • 1 in 20 people in New South Wales has a communication disability

There are simple things that can be done in your organisation to ensure that every interaction with a customer or visitor is as successful as possible, whether a person has speech that is difficult to understand, uses a communication aid or doesn’t use speech at all.

Additionally, strategies that can be used with people who have a communication disability can also be beneficial for people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Communication access supports equal access and inclusion for all customers and consumers, regardless of their communication abilities.

The Communication Access Symbol

Displaying the Communication Access Symbol means that:

  • a business has met and adheres to a set of 10 registered standards around communication access
  • measures are in place to give users of the service confidence that their form of communication will be valued
  • staff have awareness and training around effective communication
  • resources are available that will support successful communication.

The Communication Access Symbol is supported by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Speech Pathology Australia. It is seen as the last piece of the access puzzle to ensure a welcoming and inclusive experience for all customers.

The Communication Access Symbol was launched by Scope, a disability service provider in Victoria, in 2011. 

How you can be awarded the Communication Access Symbol

To display the Communication Access Symbol, you must adhere to certain criteria that demonstrate your business is inclusive for everyone, including people who may have difficulty communicating.

Northcott is the only approved communication access assessor in NSW. We have been approved by Scope to assess the communication accessibility of NSW organisations and provide training.

Our Communication Access Team can assist your business to improve its communication access through assessments, training and resource development.

  1. Find out more
    • Watch the ‘Are you Communication Accessible?’ video and complete the Communication Access Self Assessment Quiz in the resources below.
  2. Register your interest
    • Find our contact details below.
  3. Develop a plan
    • Northcott will work with you to determine what you need to do before your assessment. This could include activities such as staff training, staff surveys, development of communication resources, mystery customer visits and phone calls. 
  4. Get ready for your assessment
    • Northcott will assist you to complete any activities identified at Step 3 so you are ready to pass the assessment.
  5. Schedule your assessment
    • Once you have completed any tasks identified in Step 3, Northcott’s Communication Access Team will schedule your assessment.
  6. Get assessed
    • A trained Northcott Communication Access Assessor (a person with a communication difficulty) will visit your workplace to assess your business or service.
  7. Get feedback
    • After your assessment, Northcott’s Communication Access Team will provide detailed feedback on the outcome. If areas of improvement are identified, we will work with you to improve these.
  8. Display the Communication Access Symbol
    • When you meet the criteria for communication access, you will be awarded the Communication Access Symbol by Scope. This is valid for 12 months and can be displayed in your workplace for customers to see.
  9. Be recognised
    • You will receive a Communication Access certificate from Scope. You can display this certificate in your workplace.
  10. Be promoted
    • Your business or service will be promoted on social media and listed in the Scope Directory of Communication Accessible Places.

When and where can you access this service

Our Communication Access Team travels throughout NSW assessing organisations and providing training. Recently, we worked with Camden Council and NSW TrainLink South Coast line.

Costs involved

The fee will depend on the size of your organisation and the activities undertaken by Northcott’s Communication Access Team to assist your organisation to pass the accreditation.


Ten Steps to Communication Access

Communication Access Self Assessment Quiz

Are you Communication Accessible?

Accessibility and Inclusivity

We respect and honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on this land and commit to building a brighter future together.

Read more about our commitment to reconciliation

Montrose is now part of Northcott!

Welcome to our new website.

If you have any questions, please speak to your Service Manager, Service Coordinator or call us on 1800 818 286.