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How Do I Become a Communicative Disorders Assistant?

Whitney Leigh White
Whitney Leigh White

If you decide to become a communicative disorders assistant, most times, you will be referred to as a CDA. This type of career role is mainly found in Canada, and there are strict guidelines to which you must adhere to become this type of assistant, including completing an approved degree program, which usually lasts for one year or 3 semesters. There are only seven schools in Canada through which you can complete the degree program that will qualify you to become part of the Communicative Disorders Assistant Association of Canada (CDAAC). Receiving field placement orders and obtaining on-the-job training is also an important part of the educational requirements that you must complete to become a communicative disorders assistant.

Even though it only takes a short amount of time to become a communicative disorders assistant, the knowledge that you learn during your school program is vital in being able to perform your job duties in a successful manner. During your education, hearing and speech-language screening information is learned, as well as how to prepare therapy materials, perform actual speech therapy, and more. You also learn how to work effectively alongside speech-language pathologists or audiologists, as their supervision is required in order for you to perform services as a CDA.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

During the field placement portion of your education, you will receive on-the-job training. Hearing aid manufacturers, community health units, and audiology clinics are just a few of the places that you may obtain this training. While working in one of these institutions, you will be exclusively educated about a number of different communication areas.

If you want to become part of the CDAAC, then you will have to complete an approved degree program from an accredited college. These programs are found in the following Canadian provinces: Ontario, Oshawa, British Columbia, and Alberta. Keep in mind that, even if you were trained as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist in a different country, you must still complete an approved degree program in order to obtain full benefits from a CDAAC membership. If you do not wish to complete an approved degree program, an affiliate membership can be obtained. An affiliate membership does have its drawbacks, however, including not being able to include “Registered CDAAC” on a resume when applying for jobs.

You will also find it very beneficial to become part of the CDAAC because it can provide you with a list of available CDA job positions. There are even some employers that will not consider hiring you unless you are part of the association. The CDAAC’s website provides a number of different resources that CDAs find helpful, but keep in mind that members of the CDAAC are the only people who have access to all portions of the website.

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