Bridgepoint Health

ACWC

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Our Philosophy

The Augmentative Communication and Writing Aids Clinic (ACWC) believes that every person has the fundamental right to communication, the right to share in decisions of care, and the right to develop and maintain social relationships.

What is the Augmentative Communication and Writing Aids Clinic (ACWC)?

The ACWC is a specialized service that addresses the communication needs of individuals with complex speech and/or physical impairments through the provision of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). ACWC was designated as an expanded level AAC Centre in 2002 by the Assistive Devices Program (ADP) of the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. Expanded level AAC Centres provide high technology assessments and services.

What is Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)?

AAC is a term used to describe extra ways of helping people who find it hard to communicate by speech or writing. AAC includes gestures, strategies, materials, or technology to help people to communicate more easily.

Communication can be broken down into two areas:
  • Face-to-Face Communication: Individuals who cannot speak or have difficulty making their speech understood may use facial expressions, pictures, symbols, objects, gestures, written words/phrases and/or communication technology as an alternative or assisted method of speaking to someone.
  • Written Communication: AAC also includes the use of devices (e.g. computers, alternative keyboards or mice) to assist people who have complex physical disabilities with writing. Writing needs may be for basic tasks (e.g. notes and lists), for leisure (e.g. e-mail, poetry) or for work (e.g. reports, memos). Written communication services are provided regardless of whether or not the person can speak.

Services We Provide

  • Comprehensive interprofessional assessment of an individual's physical, speech and language needs and abilities
  • Prescription of the AAC system that will best meet an individual's needs and environments
  • Development of customized materials and programming of devices to meet each client's individual needs with respect to content, language and culture
  • Education, training, and collaboration with clients, families, friends, and staff to assist with meeting AAC goals.
  • Assisting individuals with applying for ADP or 3rd party funding

Referral Criteria:

ACWC provides services to inpatients at Bridgepoint Health and outpatient services to those in the community. Individuals must meet the following criteria:
  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Face to Face Communication Services: have a progressive neurological impairment
  • Written communication: Clients with an acquired diagnosis or congenital diagnosis. Clients with a congenital diagnosis must be literate. Referrals with a diagnosis of Developmental Disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder will not be accepted.
  • Have a valid OHIP card.
  • Be able to attend assessment at Bridgepoint Hospital.
  • If you don't meet these referral criteria, please refer to the Ontario AAC Mandates for alternatives.

How to Refer:

Inpatients: Please consult your doctor or care team for an internal referral.

Outpatients: Complete the Ambulatory Services referral form and ACWC's Additional Applicant Information form. If referring for face-to-face communication services, please have the applicant complete a vocabulary inventory.

Referral forms can be submitted by fax or mail.

Contact Information:

The Augmentative Communication and  Writing Aids Clinic

Bridgepoint Active Healthcare

14 St. Matthews Rd

Toronto, Ontario M4M 2B5

Tel 416.461.8252 x2278

Fax 416.461.2089

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