About Us

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Who We Are

The Centralized Equipment Pool (CEP) was established in 1991 by the Assistive Devices Program of the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and provides writing and face-to-face communication aids to individuals with physical disabilities of all ages. CEP is operated by Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

The Centralized Equipment Pool is a leasing, recycling and purchasing program, which services Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Clinics and Individual Authorizers across Ontario.

There is no direct referral process to the Centralized Equipment Pool, rather clients are assessed, prescribed, and dispensed equipment through an Augmentative and Alternative Communication Clinic or an Individual Authorizer. To find out about an AAC Clinic in your area, contact your local health centre or provider. For information on Communication Aids and Authorization in Ontario, contact the Assistive Devices Program, Ontario Ministry of Health at 416-327-8804 or Toll-free 1-800-268-6021. A listing of ADP designated AAC clinics in Ontario is located within this section.

The leasing program has many benefits, including a fully operational service department where replacement equipment is shipped out to clients following notice of equipment failure. The program provides clients with changing needs flexibility to return equipment and have it replaced with something more suitable following re-assessment. It also allows clients to obtain expensive communication technology at a relatively low cost.

The Centralized Equipment Pool plays an important educational role in the AAC clinical community, running workshops and courses for interprofessional clinical team members (i.e., face-to-face communication, written communication, alternative access methods, mounting systems, product introductions).

What is AAC?

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. We all use AAC when we make facial expressions or gestures, use symbols or pictures, or write.

People with severe speech or language problems rely on AAC to supplement existing speech or replace speech that is not functional. Special augmentative aids, such as picture and symbol communication boards and electronic devices, are available to help people express themselves. This may increase social interaction, school performance, and feelings of self-worth.

AAC users should not stop using speech if they are able to do so. The AAC aids and devices are used to enhance their communication.