globe with flags

A Broader Perspective

It’s been twelve years since I was approached and introduced to the Vermont Communication Support Project. Now, I’m watching the Project grow from a broader perspective. Vermont, ever brave, has had the courage to step up to the plate and level the judicial playing field for people with all disabilities. It is beyond me as to why communication support services are not available, and furthermore required, in courts throughout this country. If a person is Deaf, an ASL interpreter will be offered. If a person uses a wheelchair, accessibility is available and unquestioned. If a person has a developmental disability and their court hearing can be made accessible with communication support specialist services, why should there ever be any question? While most states still need to develop programs, Vermont serves as a role model. Also, there are over a dozen other countries around the world who subscribe to communication-based accommodations in court. While development has been slow, progress is underway.

VCSP communication support specialists are not only providing services to people with developmental disabilities. The scope of disabilities that can affect a person’s ability to communicate, is significant. Accommodations for people with disabilities, as related to communication, can vary and are sometimes complex. What makes comprehension, interaction, and effective communication achievable is an individual experience. Around the world, despite different cultures and languages, this concept is universal.

Now, as the senior advisor to the VCSP, and the coordinator for the International Intermediary Forum (IIF), it is my greatest hope that we all do what we can to encourage further development of this work. Vermont is a leader. Our commitment to communication support in the Judiciary and state services have deeper roots than any other effort around the world. For an example of more information regarding global efforts, you can visit

Soon I will facilitate another meeting with representatives from the IIF which includes Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Taiwan, Tasmania, United Kingdom and the United States. As we gather around the table, the commitment is unanimous. People with disabilities, and whose disabilities affect their ability to communicate, should have the right to accommodations that will provide a fair process. We work hard to do that here in Vermont. Be proud. Spread the word!

Lynne C. Cardozo has been involved with the VCSP since 2011. She held the position of director for 10 years, is presently the senior advisor, and serves as a communication support specialist as needed. Previously she was the executive director for the Vermont Statewide Independent Living Council and Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. She presently serves as the coordinator for the International Intermediary Forum, a networking group of communication support specialists; and is appointed to several Vermont advisory boards.

Accessibility Toolbar

Scroll to Top