Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

There is a continuum of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) services depending on age and degree of need in Simcoe County and York Region.  

The Preschool Speech and Language Programs provide service to individuals from birth to start of junior kindergarten. Families, physicians, childcare providers, etc. can refer children by speaking to a member of the child’s Early Intervention team or by contacting Child Development Services, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (Simcoe County) or York Region Kids Line (York Region).  Services are provided in the child’s local community and may be provided in a variety of setting including daycare, family home, and clinic.  

School boards have supports available to children enrolled within their board.  Speech and language support may come from a teacher, special education resource teacher, and/or board Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). Parents can explore the available supports by speaking with the school principal.

Children’s Treatment Network of Simcoe York – Augmentative Communication Consultation Service (ACCS) is an Assistive Devices Program (ADP) accredited general level clinic. It provides support to clients and their local teams seeking specialty team consultation to address specific AAC needs. For example, high technology device assessment and possible prescription with government funding.  SLPs can refer individuals who meet ALL of the following criteria:
  • the child/youth is younger than 19 years of age and lives in Simcoe County or York Region
  • the child/youth is a direct accessor (able to point directly to items)
  • the child/youth is an intentional symbolic communicator with picture discrimination (combination of core and fringe vocabulary)
  • the child/youth has more than one communication function beyond requesting
  • the child/youth’s receptive language (understanding) is significantly better than expressive language abilities
  • the child/youth’s communication system is used and supported at home (in addition to daycare, school, or other environments)
ACCS SLPs do not focus on verbal articulation skills directly (although research informs us that use of AAC may help develop verbal skills). Therefore, if AAC is not needed or wanted, the child/youth will be transferred back to local team for articulation supports.

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s Communication and Writing Aids Service (CWAS) provides specialty consultation support to clients who are indirect or alternate accessors (unable to point directly to items). CWAS has specific referral criteria that can be found on their website.

CTN Augmentative Communication Consultation Service (ACCS)

Watch this informative video for more information on CTN’s Augmentative Communication Consultation Service.

The following document describes the various ways that ACCS can help and how to access the service. Click here to access the PDF version.

Additional resources/forms:

ACCS Referral
ACCS Consult
ACCS Clinic Day
ACCS Re-Referral





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