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Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Clinic

The Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Clinic helps adults whose speech, language, and/or handwriting do not meet communication needs. Augmentative communication refers to devices and strategies that enhance existing speech, whereas alternative communication provides options for replacing verbal communication and/or handwriting. 

Early referrals are recommended to optimize communication options and ensure timely access to services. Please note that this clinic does not provide traditional speech therapy or occupational therapy. 

Goal: Based upon communication goals, we come up with a new way to communicate using a variety of communication strategies, including, but limited to, assistive technology.

Click here to download the AAC Clinic brochure

Contact our AAC department at (905) 685-1381 x85210.

The best technology fit is determined through matching physical and communication skills and needs of the individual to the features of communication equipment.

Our services include: 

  • Face-to-face Communication Assessment and/or Written Communication Assessment by Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)
  • Customized equipment options (e.g., tablet with communications software or communications board)
  • Customized alternatives to handwriting or using computer controls (e.g., specialized mice, keyboards, head control, eye control etc.)
  • Customized options for device mounting (e.g., table mount, mounting to wheelchair etc.)
  • Voice banking and/or message banking (available for qualifying clients only)
  • Client training
  • Troubleshooting and technical support as needed
  • Re-assessment due to changing physical or communications needs
  • In-person and/or remote appointments available

Our interdisciplinary team includes:

  • Speech-language Pathologist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Communication Disorders Assistant
  • Equipment Coordinator

Who can benefit from AAC?

  • Adults who have speech problems that are so severe that they are not understood by others
  • Adults who are unable to speak at all
  • Adults who have physical difficulties that prevent them from using their hands to write


A referral from a physician is required. Please download the Outpatient Rehab Referral Form here

Admission criteria

  • Valid Ontario Health Card
  • 18 years or older
  • Speech and/or handwriting does not meet daily communication needs

 Funding for communication devices

  • There is no fee for the services provided by the AAC Clinic
  • We are designated as an expanded level clinic by the Assistive Devices Program (ADP)
  • If eligible, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care ADP may provide funding assistance for the purchase or lease of prescribed communication aids
  • Funding assistance may be available through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), extended benefits, and various organizations such as Ontario Federation of Cerebral Palsy and ALS Canada

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Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre is a specialty hospital that excels in providing rehabilitation and complex care to thousands of patients across the Niagara Region.

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