About Us

About Us

About Us

The Open Access Resource Centre (OARC) is committed to improving the lives of Manitobans with communication challenges or who are non-speaking through the use of communication devices. OARC helps individuals receive their own long-term systems as well as providing the supports needed for successful implementation of a device as a communication tool.

There is an application form to fill out and submit to OARC to begin the process of acquiring a device for a child new to our services. OARC provides training and support for families who are maintaining the equipment, for support teams who are learning how to use devices and AAC apps, and for everyone around the successful implementation of such devices.

OARC staff work in a consultative capacity with your child's Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). SLPs are professionals who have the education and training to provide essential support to you and your loved ones on your Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) journey. We will work together to help you find the right AAC system (as it is not "one size fits all") and will help you and the people you communicate with learn to use AAC. We have a small library of equipment available for trial. This is intended to assist with determining the best access method or communication software for a particular child. An example of this may be when we are determining if eye gaze access or switch access may be appropriate. Your Speech-Language Pathologist may also work with an Occupational Therapist and a Physical Therapist when the AAC user has different physical skills that impact the way they interact with an AAC system.

We are fortunate in Manitoba to have a range of publicly funded Speech-Language Pathology services for both preschool and school age children that are available for free to families. Information on preschool-based services can be found through the Children’s Therapy Network of Manitoba: https://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/ctnm/index.html
For school-age children, services are often available through your child’s school or school division. It is recommended you speak with your child’s school directly about available services.
Our Mission
To empower individuals with communication challenges, their families, and their communities by providing speech-generating devices and support so everyone's voice is valued.
Our Vision
Everyone has a voice and is heard.

Our Board Of Directors

June 2023 - Present
Jennifer Barthel, President
Shellie Hatch, Past President
Rina Urish, Vice President
Steven Peleck, Secretary/Treasurer
Board Members
Elizabeth Grauer
Donna Passey
Camilla Thorne-Tjomsland
Dorian Phillips
Jackie Markstrom
Trish Guimond
If you are interested in serving as a member of the Board of Directors, please contact us.

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