May 16, 2012
The Province is committed to supporting greater access to communications technologies for people with disabilities and is pleased to fund the Communication Assistance for Youth and Adults (CAYA) project.
At the demonstration of the technology, Social Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux underscored how CAYA’s innovative technology solutions help people with communication disabilities participate more fully in their communities.
For people who do not have the capacity for functional speech, CAYA provides the ability to communicate. Using technology, these individuals can do things that most take for granted – speaking on the phone, ordering food in a restaurant, using Skype and participating in group conversations. Communication devices like Dynawrite, Vantage and other tools help CAYA clients work, volunteer, learn and build friendships that contributes to greater independence and an improved quality of life.
The Province has committed $5.7 million in funding over the next three years, bringing the total provincial contribution for CAYA to more than $15 million since 2005.
CAYA provides equipment and services to adults and youth aged 19 or older with complex communication disabilities. Since 2005, CAYA has provided approximately 630 British Columbians with communications technologies.
The goal of CAYA is to ensure that eligible individuals have access to the communication tools and professional support to enable them to create an adult life to the best of their abilities.
Minister of Social Development Stephanie Cadieux –
“By using the equipment and services that CAYA provides, people with communication disabilities are able to participate more fully in the social and economic life of B.C.”
“For people who have previously been unable to speak, this is amazing technology. It gives them a voice and lets them be more involved in community life.”
Jeff Riley, manager, Communication Assistance for Youth and Adults –
“The stable funding for CAYA announced in the 2012-13 B.C. Budget is excellent news for British Columbians who cannot speak. The inability or loss of speech is perhaps the most isolating disability an individual can ever face.”
“Talking with others is how we build family, friends, and lives. The restoration of functional communication through modern technology and professional supports, opens the doors to participation in the human family, and shows the world who we truly are.”
April Proudlove, CAYA client –
“Without my communication device, no one would know what I have to say.”
- About 640,000 people with disabilities live in B.C., and about 4,480 of these individuals are living with a communication disability.
- CAYA has assisted approximately 630 people with communications disabilities with equipment enabling them to speak and will help approximately 270 more over the next three years.
- CAYA clients have either never had or have recently lost the capacity for functional speech due to problems at birth or early life (cerebral palsy) or genetic conditions (Down’s syndrome) or acquired conditions (traumatic brain injury).
For more information on CAYA, visit: www.cayabc.org
For more information on the Employment Program of British Columbia, which provides services to individuals with disabilities, visit: www.workbccentres.ca
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