Assistive technology(AT) is a term referring to tools that can assist an individual over information processing difficulties affecting learning and performance. For younger learners, this can provide an opportunity to have fun while learning, and children can receive positive reinforcement while taking steps to improve their skills, and obtain an increased sense of worth through play.
The cost of AT varies greatly; from $2 for something as simple as a highlighter, up to $2000+ for more advanced pieces of technology such as voice recognition and dictation software. For a detailed list of tools and accessories, as well as some free software, go to Youth2Youth.ca.
Additionally, the New Brunswick Public Library Service recently launched a new service that provides individuals with print disabilities access to assistive technology. For a list of libraries participating in the program, click here.
There are two grants available. For both grants one must be eligible for a student loan. The Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities offers up to $2000 per loan year. There is also the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities, which offers up to $8000 per loan year.
Go to canlearn.ca to see the details regarding these grants, or visit your local post-secondary institute's Student Financial Assistance Office. Be sure to follow the steps carefully to determine eligibility.
The Disability Tax Credit is a non-refundable tax credit (up to eleven thousand dollars) to assist with the daily costs encountered by persons with disabilities. The credit can be applied against net income which a person with a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions can claim.
It can reduce the amount of income tax he or she has to pay in a year. An impairment is considered prolonged and severe if it has lasted (or is expected to last) for at least 12 consecutive months, and if it has significantly limited one’s ability to perform a basic activity of daily living (seeing, speaking, hearing, walking, eliminating, feeding or dressing yourself, or functioning in everyday life because you have impaired mental or physical functions). You must fill out the T2201 Tax Credit Certificate to be eligible. Additionally, a psychologist will be required to fill out the RC4064 form. Key words in the report must state: The individual struggles with processing: perceiving, thinking, problem solving, judgment and remembering (memory). Also it must describe how the individual struggles with adaptive skills: social skills, functioning, health and safety and transactions. If you are unsure whether you would be eligible click here for a list of conditions which fall under this credit.
The Child Disability Benefit is also a non-refundable tax credit, designed to help families bear the cost of raising a child under 18 who has severe and prolonged mental or physical impairment. This benefit is also covered under the T2201 Tax Credit Certificate. To see if you qualify, click here , or call 1-866-277-9914.
We highly recommend consulting with a professional before proceeding with this certificate, as it is a fairly complicated process and needs to be filled out properly to insure eligibility. If you require a personal consultation, email us at [email protected] and we will forward your information along to a consultant.
You should contact the school and arrange a meeting so that you may discuss the progress that your child is making. You may want to take a family member or a trusted friend to remind you of the questions you want to ask and to take notes of the meeting. This may make the meeting less stressful for you. Be open and honest with the school personnel, and be specific about your concerns/plans for your child’s future. Because you know your child better than anyone, it is important that you are as proactive as possible during this process. If these strategies are not working, LDAs across Canada provide advocacy services and support. You must also make yourself knowledgeable about learning disabilities and your child’s in particular. You should also read the NB Dept of Education document Resource for the Identification and Teaching of Students with Specific Learning Disabilities.
The vast majority of post-secondary institutions have a Disability Service Office (DSO) or Student Accessibility Centre (SAC) on campus which is responsible for overseeing the requirements of students with specific needs. Also, Youth2Youth.ca is a fantastic online resource for students. It provides tips on study skills, links to free assistive technology and many other resources designed to help students enrolled in a post-secondary institution. It is best to make contact with your local accessibility centre at least 3 months before the start of the first semester.
An assessment will provide the necessary information needed to address your child’s area of deficits using his/her strengths. It is preferable to have this done through your child’s school, but if there is a long waiting time this is a significant factor and should be documented. Another route is to obtain a referral to a psychologist from your family doctor or pediatrician. If this is also not forthcoming, your family’s health plan may cover a portion of the costs. Having an assessment done privately will be in the area of $1500+. If it is determined to be a LD it can be counted as a medical expense.
Contact your medical insurance provider or HR rep for details on whether or not an assessment would be covered under your plan. Typically, this is not covered under a basic medical insurance plan; however, some suppliers do provide some coverage for assessments. When gathering information concerning coverage, there are a few questions you will want to ask:
- Do they require a referral from an M.D.?
- Can you use the coverage to pay for the assessment?
- What is your level of coverage, is it a percent or dollar amount?
- How detailed of a receipt do they require?
There are some online based options available:
Also, there are resources available in print.
Duty to Accommodate refers to the legal obligation of employers to eliminate the negative or discriminatory treatment of employees and the general public. This duty only comes into play when the person’s needs falls under any of the grounds of discrimination listed in the Canadian Human Rights Act.
However, this duty has limits. An employer can claim undue hardship when adjustments to a policy, practice, by-law or building would cost too much, or create risks to health or safety. As there is no formula in place which strictly defines undue hardship, each claim is judged on a case by case basis. If you believe you have a valid complaint regarding discrimination you can call the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission at 1-888-471-2233.
There are numerous options in the Fredericton area:
- All of the tutors are volunteers so the service is free. (506) 450-7923
Boys and Girls Homework Club (Devon and Skyline Acres) (506) 454-9237 for Skyline Acres, (506) 472-4528 for Devon.
Multicultural Centre Homework Club (506) 454-8292
Doone Street Community Centre Homework Club, sponsored by Frontier College (506) 450-7923
École des Bâtisseurs Homework Club, sponsored by Frontier College (506) 450-7923
Pathways Educational Services Centre for Dyslexia, LDs and Autism (506) 447-7235
Laubach Literacy New Brunswick an adult focused literacy and tutoring service
There are some options in Moncton as well:
Frontier College Moncton (506) 450-7923
Forest Glen Homework Club (bilingual) sponsored by Frontier College (506) 450-7923
Rogers Raise the Grade (Boys and Girls Club)(506) 853-5803
Homework Club for Newcomers in Partnership with Multicultural Association of Greater Moncton Area (Bilingual)
sponsored by Frontier College (506) 450-7923