Our Services


Communication Devices for Children

Our services focus on supporting children who benefit from a communication device.

Research in the field of Augmentative and Alternative Communication has led us to understand that all children who need a communication device can learn how to use it. There are no prerequisite skills needed before considering this technology for a child. The work we do at OARC is to ensure that individuals requiring a device receive their own long-term system. The vast majority of these communication devices are iPads with specialized voice-output apps on them.

The need for training and ongoing support has become a vital part of what we do. Our goal is to maximize the success of each child receiving a device to communicate. We do this by ensuring that the team (both home and school) is educated and supported to effectively and successfully implement the system as a communication tool.

OARC is focusing our resources in both acquiring communication devices for children and in supporting the team through education, training and troubleshooting.

The Process:
  • There is an OARC Application for Communication Device form to fill out and submit to OARC to begin the process of acquiring a communication device for a child. This form can be found under forms on our website and must be accompanied by a Letter Support from a Speech-Language Pathologist indicating why this child requires a communication device.
  • OARC will consult with those submitting the application, as needed, regarding the appropriate type of communication device as well as recommended communication apps.
  • OARC then finds funding for each of these applications. Each funding source has its own criteria and we work to match each application with an appropriate funding source. 

    NOTE: Following the submission of an application the wait-time for a long term system will vary depending on the funding source.
  • Once funding is approved/secured OARC will purchase the communication system (including iPad/hardware, case, apps, etc).
  • OARC Staff will then set up the device, customizing and applying appropriate restrictions to ensure it is used as a communication device.
  • OARC Staff will then provide you with a booking link to schedule a training session with the team (parents, SLP, school staff etc.) This training session is to help with introducing augmentative and alternative communication and to get the team started with the implementation of the communication device.
  • OARC is also committed to troubleshooting and supporting Children using a communication device to ensure their continued success.
If you have any questions about our service, we would love the chance to speak with you. Please give us a call or email us!

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OARC - Workshop Series

We are thrilled to offer a number of interactive workshops designed to support a wide range of audiences to become good communication partners who presume competence, listen, ask questions, respect and accept all forms of communication.

This fall we are excited to present our Fall Virtual Workshop Series with 3 virtual sessions. Please email mary-alex@oarc.ca to register

1. Wednesday, October 25, 2023 6:00-7:30 pm
Communication Devices: The Basics for Parents and Caregivers
Cost: Donation only
2. Tuesday, November 14, 2023 6:30-8:00 pm
Proloquo2Go - Basics for Beginners
Cost: $25
3. Monday, December 4th 6:15-7:45 pm
Proloquo2go - Additional Tools for Advanced Learners
Cost $25

You may also contact us to schedule any of the below sessions at a time that works for you and your team:

Open Access Resource Centre – Everyone Deserves a Voice

Length: 60 min

This 60-minute presentation provides an overview of OARC and the services we offer in Manitoba. The presentation will include an interactive discussion on common myths vs. facts about speech generating devices and how to be a good communication partner.AAC refers to tools and strategies that enhance verbal speech or provide a completely different means of communicating. In this workshop, learn about why AAC is needed, what it can look like and how it can help. Audiences will have the opportunity to see various forms of AAC and gain hands on experience with a speech generating device. This interactive workshop will leave participants with a basic understanding of evidence-based strategies for supporting AAC users.

Model AAC to Teach AAC
Recommended Length: 3 hours (includes one 15-minute break)
Modeling is an evidence informed practice for supporting AAC users. In this workshop, learn what modeling is and what it is not. Key strategies to support effective modeling with beginner AAC users will be reviewed. This workshop will also include discussions on how to model AAC in daily routines and activities across many different environments and offer participants a hands-on modeling experience.

Creating Communication Opportunities
Recommended Length: 2 hours

Every day of our lives is full of communication opportunities. In this workshop, learn how to find opportunities to communicate with AAC users throughout the day. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the many ways AAC can be incorporated into daily life so that every person can connect and communicate their wants, needs, thoughts, feelings, opinions, personal stories and more. Participants will leave with an understanding about the importance of creating space and time for an individual to communicate. This workshop will include an overview of the ‘Communication Bill of Rights’ and the functions of communication.

Additional Information:

Workshop Fees: OARC’s rate is $130/hour. Groups are only charged for the workshop time. All prep, correspondence and any follow-up are included. Mileage is included to locations within Winnipeg and some surrounding communities (up to 60 km from our office).

Training Length: The length of trainings can be adapted to suit your needs and budget. We encourage you to contact us to discuss which workshop(s) and length of time would work best for your group.

Location: In-person or virtual workshops can be offered. We can come to your space. The OARC office can also be used as a meeting space for groups up to 15 people.

Who are the workshops intended for? OARC can provide education and training to a wide range of audiences from students to experienced professionals.

Got an Idea? Contact us! We love working with community partners to create something unique.
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