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Writing aids service

Serves children who are able to speak, but cannot write with a pen or pencil.

A girl in front of computer

The writing aids service consults for clients who meet the following criteria:

  • Client is verbal
  • 18 years of age (up to 19th birthday) or younger at time or referral
  • Has difficulty with handwriting because of a physical condition
  • Has regular writing needs at home
  • Can compose ideas in writing
  • Does not have a writing aid that is meeting his/her needs at home
  • Has the ability/potential to use a writing aid to increase speed and/or legibility of writing

After assessing and evaluating the client’s needs and abilities, the writing aids team recommends equipment or strategies that serve as a replacement for a pen or pencil for written communication. This may involve a computer with specially adapted hardware or software. Adaptations may include an onscreen keyboard, switch activation and voice or word-recognition software.

The focus of this service is on home-based writing needs. The service’s focus is to use technology to replace the pencil. Therefore, it is expected that when a young person is referred, the family has already explored remedial handwriting intervention and has decided that the use of technology may be necessary.

Other Important Information

We are an expanded level clinic as defined by the assistive devices program of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Staff can authorize funding support for the purchase and/or lease of writing aid systems and adaptive technology for eligible clients. Families are responsible to pay for the portion that is not covered by the assistive devices program.  Other funding agencies may be approached for funding assistance.

Individuals with a primary diagnosis of learning disability are not eligible for assistive devices program funding for written communication equipment. We do not offer handwriting training. 

Referral Criteria and Forms

A referral is required if the individual is not a client of Holland Bloorview, or has not been seen within the last year. Referrals are accepted from: physicians, nurse practitioners, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists physiotherapists and psychologists.