SAC Workshop: Cognitive-Communication Course for Acquired Brain Injury (CCCABI) – Level 1

Presented By Sheila MacDonald, M.Cl.Sc., S-LP(C), Reg. CASLPO


The CCCABI course is a clinical short course, designed by Sheila MacDonald, that is specifically tailored to speech- language pathologists who serve individuals with acquired brain injuries.

Intended Audience:
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • Students (enrolled in their final year of an accredited speech-language pathology program and has completed the adult neuro course)
This Session Pertains To:
  • School Aged (5-17)
  • Adults (18-64)
  • Seniors (65+)
  • All clinical settings (acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, community, school etc.), all severities, and all age groups, although more time is spent on adult and adolescent services.
  • Toronto, ON
  • TBC


This CCCABI Course integrates research evidence, clinical insights, and the lived experience of those with ABI and provides tools and resources to enhance clinical practice. Praised by both new and seasoned clinicians, sought after by employers, and acclaimed nationally and internationally, the CCCABI course is a “must attend” for speech-language pathologists working in ABI.

The CCCABI Course was initially offered as Cognitive-Communication Disorders Level 1 (CCD Level 1), then expanded to include Level 2 (CCD 2), and a Mild/Concussion course. Sheila MacDonald has designed and regularly updated the course based on feedback from participating colleagues.


The in person CCCABI Level 1 is a 2-day course that includes 12 hours of professional development on the following topics:

  • S-LP’s role from acute care through to lifelong communications.
  • Cognitive-communication disorders and their impact on daily functioning.
  • Return to family, community, social, work, and academic communications.
  • Early Intervention acute and inpatient (disorders of consciousness, agitation, confusion)
  • Assessment Mid to Late stages: principles, considerations, standardized tests, contextual evaluation, outcome measures, qualitative or functional assessment approaches.
  • Treatment principles, strategies, instructional practices, contextual approaches.
  • Evidence for cognitive-communication interventions to guide clinical practice and advocacy.
  • Treatment for specific cognitive-communication domains: attention, memory, auditory comprehension, and information processing, reading comprehension, verbal expression, discourse, written expression.
  • Promoting and supporting family and communication partner involvement.
  • Team collaboration and conveying the unique role of speech-language pathology in ABI intervention.
  • Note: CCCABI Level 2, which we hope to offer in future, includes specific interventions for Social Communication, Executive Functions, Organization, Reasoning, Problem Solving, Metacognition, Return to Work & School.


Learning objectives:
Short Term:

Participants will be able to:

  • Use an established framework for understanding cognitive-communication impairments associated with acquired brain injuries to plan assessments, educate individuals and families, predict their impact on daily functioning, and plan for supports.
  • Apply the research evidence relating to cognitive-communication disorders to inform their efforts in education, advocacy, and intervention planning.
  • Conduct comprehensive assessments of cognitive-communication disorders with consideration of multiple influences on communication, optimal standardized tests, outcome measures, the World Health Organization’s framework for assessment, contextual assessments, real-world evaluation, involvement of significant others, ecological validity, challenges in detecting subtle deficits, and documentation.
  • Plan person-centred ABI intervention that incorporates consideration of individual, contextual, and environmental factors, varied needs along the continuum of care, and evidence-based practice.
  • Address a range of clinical practice issues in ABI including access to services, detection of subtle deficits, collaboration and team functioning, engagement in therapy (insight, motivation), involvement of family and significant others, and communication of the role of the speech-language pathologist.
Long Term:

S-LPs in our community of practice will assist with the following:

  • Optimize service delivery and functional outcomes for individuals with ABI by improving access, quality, and collaboration among service providers through increased understanding of the benefit of speech-language pathology services for individuals with cognitive-communication disorders after ABI.
  • Optimize the quality, consistency, and efficiency of their clinical practice through use of a consistent framework for assessment, treatment, research, evidence reviews, and collaboration among service providers.


Level 1 – Modules 1 – 6
Module Description
Module 1 Overview of Cognitive-Communication Disorders after ABI
Module 2 Early Intervention of Cognitive-Communication Disorders
Module 3 Assessment for Mid to Late Stages
Module 4 Treatment Overview Mid to Late Stages
Module 5 Comprehension & Information Processing Interventions
Module 6 Verbal Expression and Discourse Planning Interventions



All participants must be:

  • A licensed S-LP with the regulatory college in their province or a graduate from an accredited speech-language pathology program;


  • A student who is enrolled in their final year of an accredited speech-language pathology program and has completed the adult neuro course.
Registration Fees Covers:
  • Course
  • Course Book including slides, references and clinical tools
  • Certificate
  • Breakfast, morning & afternoon break and lunch on each day of the workshop
  • This workshop is eligible for 12 SAC CEEs.

Sheila MacDonald, M.Cl.Sc., S-LP(C), Reg. CASLPO

Sheila MacDonald is an internationally recognized presenter, and researcher who has developed standardized assessment measures (FAVRES, SFAVRES), a referral checklist (CCCABI), a guiding model of cognitive- communication competence, practice guidelines, and publications on evidence-based practice. Her courses draw on research evidence, insights from clinicians around the world, and the lived experiences of those with brain injuries and their families shared at bedside and kitchen tables in over 30 years of speech-language pathology clinical practice.

Registration Fees

Early Bird (September 13, 2023) Regular
SAC Member $699 $799
ASHA Member $699 $799
Non-Members $1,039 $1,139
Registration Deadline:
  • October 24, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern.
SAC Members:
  • SAC members must sign in at the top of the registration page to receive the member rate.
ASHA members must:
  • ASHA members are required to provide proof of membership.
  • To ensure you receive the discounted ASHA rate, please email Bev Cooper prior to registering for more information.
Cancellation Policy
  • An administration fee of $75.00 will apply to all refunds.
  • Requests for refunds must be received by September 13, 2023.
  • No refunds after September 13, 2023.
  • Please email Bev Cooper to request a refund.

Related Upcoming Events/Education

Save the date!

2024 marks SAC’s 60th Anniversary – that’s 60 years of supporting, promoting, and elevating the speech-language pathology and audiology professions. There’s no better occasion to plan an in-person conference to reunite and celebrate. It’s been a long time since we held a joint in-person conference and we are excited to welcome you all back!

SAC is currently planning our 2024 Conference from May 9-11 in Vancouver, BC. To celebrate this milestone anniversary, we are planning an exciting programme for speech-language pathologists and audiologists. Stay tuned for more!


Register for the conference by March 26, 2024 to get your early bird registration rate.

Early bird registration fee TBD.

Plan your trip

Join us at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre.

Book your hotel room by April 11, 2024 for the conference rate of $249 + tax.

Call for papers
Now Open
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Deadline June 30
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