Communication technology supports independence, participation

Communication technology supports independence, participation

  • Technology
  • May 30, 2022
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  • 5 minutes read


People with severe communication disabilities will be able to access the augmentative communication technology and professional support they need to build their independence and participate fully in their communities.

With $ 3.162 billion in provincial funding, the Youth and Adult Communication Assistance Program (CAYA) can continue to support BC people with communication barriers to meet their daily communication needs.

“Many of us take for granted the ability to say directly what we are thinking,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Assistive and augmentative communication technology, as an aid to speech, is vital to ensuring that all voices are heard and that people with disabilities have the opportunity to express their choices and participate. in their own care “.

CAYA was established in 2005 and the province-wide program supports people 19 years of age and older to access and implement alternative and augmentative communication technologies and strategies so that they can participate more fully in education, employment and the community, and make independent personal decisions. This includes providing systems, strategies, and tools that support communication, such as symbol boards, keyboards, and alphabet graphics, or voice generation devices.

More than 926,000 people in British Columbia live with a disability and face barriers on a daily basis. With the enactment of the British Columbia Act accessible last year, the government is working to improve the lives of people with disabilities and increase opportunities to participate in their communities.

Quotes:

Dan Coulter, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility –

“Being able to communicate your thoughts and needs is an invaluable part of building both independence and connection. That’s why we’re so proud to be able to continue our support for CAYA, as they help give voice to people who they live with communication disabilities such as ALS or autism. “

Lois Turner, Program Director, CAYA –

“Accessible British Columbia Act strives to remove barriers to society and the inability to communicate is a devastating barrier for British Columbia adults whose speech does not meet their daily needs. They depend solely on the services that CAYA offers, and we look forward to working with the provincial government to ensure that these services continue to be available to all those who need them in the coming years. “

Ivy Pang, mother of CAYA customer –

“Curtis recently received an iPad with CAYA’s Predictable Communication app … Curtis can express himself more clearly to anyone who doesn’t know him so he can make new friends and express his needs to new people. He can also talk about more abstract topics and express his emotions in a broader and deeper way. Curtis is excited to have this tool to increase his communication with new people and expand his social circle through Zoom or the church. “

Brief details:

  • Since 2005, the CAYA program has served about 3,228 customers at various stages in the acquisition and implementation of augmentative communication and assistance technology.
  • Over the past three years, CAYA has provided new or replacement communications technology to approximately 830 customers annually and has received more than 460 new service requests each year.
  • CAYA is administered under an agreement with the Vancouver School Board. The functions and administration of the program are performed by CAYA members employed by the school board and under local contracts with each health authority.

Learn more:

Communication assistance for young people and adults (CAYA): https://cayabc.org

CAYA Customer Stories: www.cayabc.org/client-stories

BC Accessibility: www.gov.bc.ca/accessibility

Watch an Accessibility Week promotional video: https://youtu.be/A4AXJ4ZE7yg



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