Communication Assistance for Youth and Adults (CAYA) is a Provincial Resource Program that supports adults aged 19 years and older who require an augmentative/alternative communication (AAC) system due to a severe communication disability, i.e. speech that is not functional for daily communication. 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.
Additional Funding for CAYA gives people a voice. On March 26, 2013, the Province committed to providing an additional $1.5 million in support for the Communication Assistance for Youth and Adults (CAYA) program. "To appreciate what a life changer this technology is, you simply need to talk to someone who has been given the means to communicate, to realize that every dollar we are able to provide CAYA will positively impact the quality of life for the recipient, their families and their greater community" said Minister of Social Development Moira Stilwell, M.D. "This additional funding will ensure that at least 60 more people with severe communication disabilities in B.C. will have their own voice, and the communication supports and technology to create an adult life of the greatest possible independence" said Jeffrey Riley, Manager of CAYA. Since 2005, CAYA has provided approximately 915 British Columbians with communications technologies. For the full story, please go to www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2013/03/additional-funding-for-caya-gives-people-a-voice.html
CAYA Included in BC Provincial Budget 2012-2015
CAYA has been operating continuously since 2005 and as of April 2012 supports over 700 adults with communication disabilities across BC. On February 21st, 2012, CAYA was recognized in the BC Provincial Budget with budget line funding of $5.7 million ($1.9 million annually) from the Ministry of Social Development. This will enable CAYA to continue to provide communication devices and services to people with complex communication disabilities in BC for the budget funding period of 2012-2015. The ministry has committed to working with the community and CAYA to develop cost effective and long-term sustainable services for British Columbians with complex communication disabilities.
View video of Speaking of Adults Speaking
Speaking of Adults Speaking (2008) is a 15 minute video describing the journey to independent communication for 4 adults who lost, or never had, the ability to speak. The video provides a BC perspective and includes key program information about CAYA, demographic information, and shows the difference a speech generating device (SGD) can make in people’s lives.