What is CAYA?

Communication Assistance for Youth and Adults (CAYA) is a province-wide service 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

What does CAYA offer?

CAYA provides a time dependent service. Assessment and intervention will occur for approximately four months, after which time the Client and his/her Team will be expected to assume responsibility for continued implementation and use of the communication system. The overall service is comprised of the following modules:

  • Assessment – CAYA provides assessment services through our skilled Speech-Language Pathologists to determine the best augmentative or alternative communication system for eligible clients and a thoughtful implementation plan incorporating the resources and strengths of their supporters and families.
  • Equipment – CAYA maintains a loan bank of AAC devices and accessories that are available for indefinite loan to CAYA clients following the recommendations of the Speech-Language Pathologists. We recognize that communication is an essential human function so equipment is supported and repaired on a rapid turn-around basis.
  • Daily/Regular Use: Once the appropriate communication system has been determined and the Client and Team Members trained in its use, the Client will be placed on “monitor” status, and the daily implementation and use will become the responsibility of the Client and their support team.
  • Training and Resources – CAYA provides families and other care providers with periodic training opportunities and other resources to ensure the successful implementation of AAC initiatives with clients. Training modules and resource packages are offered, both in small group settings and on-line in collaboration with the SET-BC Learning Centre. It is expected that day programs and group homes will allow their staff the opportunities to attend such events, to ensure that the Client’s communication system will continue to be successfully implemented.
  • Follow-up – CAYA follows through with clients after the conclusion of the initial assessment and provision process with annual calls and contacts. Technical support is available to all CAYA clients to keep their technology functional.

Who is eligible?

  • Adults aged 19 years and older who require an AAC system due to a severe communication disability, i.e. speech that is not functional for daily communication* (*This does not include individuals whose primary communication disability is a hearing loss. CAYA does not provide hearing aids or assisted listening devices. Individuals with hearing disabilities are encouraged to contact the Western Institute of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Vancouver www.widhh.com )
  • Adults aged 19 years and older who are already using an AAC system, but require further training and resources to improve of maintain communicative function
  • Students in Grade 12 (or the last year of their K-12 program) who require an AAC system post-graduation.See more on eligibility

What is the CAYA process?

  • Once eligibility is established, the CAYA team determines if further assessment information is needed before other CAYA services are put in place.
  • After assessment, CAYA will work with families, health agencies, group homes, and other community-based organizations to ensure that the client receives the appropriate level of support and equipment.
  • CAYA staff members will monitor the progress of our clients through community follow-up.

How does one apply?

You can download the Request for Service application from the front page of this website. All applicants use the same form. Please do not use a form older than February 1, 2010. Then fax the completed form to our head office at (604) 266-2463. You will be contacted shortly thereafter.

If you have any further questions:

Email CAYA at contact@cayabc.org or fill in the form below: