Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital

Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) Clinic

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Our Philosophy

The Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) Clinic 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 Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)?
AAC is a term used to describe ways of helping people who find it difficult to communicate through speech or writing. AAC includes any gestures, communication strategies, materials, and/or technology that help people communicate more easily.

What is the AAC Clinic?

The AAC Clinic is a specialized service that addresses the communication needs of individuals with complex speech and/or physical impairments, through the provision of AAC. The AAC Clinic is an Assistive Devices Program (ADP)-designated expanded level AAC centre. Expanded level AAC centres provide assessments and services that range from no-tech to high-tech communication systems. 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 employees to assist with meeting AAC goals
  • Assisting individuals with applying for ADP or third party funding

Referral Criteria:

  • The AAC Clinic provides services to inpatients at Hennick Bridgepoint, as well as outpatient services for those in the community. Individuals must meet the following criteria:

    • Be 18 years of age or older
    • Have a valid OHIP card
    • Be able to attend appointments at Hennick Bridgepoint
    • Be able to identify a facilitator who will support the patient's communication system (e.g. scheduling appointments, completing paperwork, basic troubleshooting)
    • Face to Face Communication Services: Anyone whose speech or language does not meet his or her day-to-day communication needs
    • Written communication: Anyone who is physically unable to produce functional written communication

    *If you don't meet these referral criteria, please refer to the Ontario AAC Services Mandates for alternatives.                   

How to Refer:

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

Outpatients: Complete the GTA Ambulatory Services referral form and the Applicant Information form.

Referral forms can be submitted by fax or mail.

Contact Information:

The Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) Clinic

Christine Sinclair Ambulatory Care Centre

Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital

1 Bridgepoint Drive

Toronto, Ontario    M4M 2B5

Tel 416.461.8252

Fax 416.461.2089