The Montreal Fluency Centre's (MFC) Accessibility Campaign: Offering Teletherapy for Distance Treatment and Learning aims to raise $70,000 to modernize our practice and programs and make them accessible to everyone in order to treat those with communication and learning difficulties.
MFC is addressing the urgent needs for continued learning and support facing our children caused by the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the ongoing needs of families and communities who cannot access the help they need either for physical distance reasons or financial constraints.
The MFC has been moving toward teletherapy to expand the reach of its services. This plan has become more urgent as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The MFC is raising $20,000 for the equipment needed to provide teletherapy during and after the pandemic. In keeping with government guidelines during the pandemic, the MFC has closed its doors to clients for an undetermined period. Although some families have been able to continue via teletherapy, this has caused a reduction of nearly 90% in client sessions. The Centre is currently relying on those staff who have the personal equipment needed to provide treatment via videoconferencing and the ability to offer this service to parents so that their children can continue to progress during this time of physical distancing and isolation.
With schools temporarily closed and few resources for children with special needs provided on-line for children and parents, the MFC's teletherapy service seeks to fill the gap and ensure that at-risk children are not falling further behind.
For the past 5 years, our highly trained and expert staff has successfully offered distance treatment services to families in the Mohawk communities of Kahnawake, Kanesatake and Akwesasne as well as 9 Cree communities in the James Bay region, and to students in remote communities around Quebec. In spite of the progress we have made, we urgently need to equip MFC staff to work from home in order to continue to provide consistent ongoing services.
While 30% of our clients currently have access to bursaries through a generous bursary program, which covers up to 75% of treatment costs, we are faced with a new reality that many more people will need financial assistance until our economy recovers from the repercussions of COVID-19.
The MFC firmly believes that everyone who needs assistance should have access to it and aims to increase bursary funding by $50,000.
This additional bursary funding will allow the MFC to launch an emergency measure, expanding the bursary program to provide emergency funding so that families will not have to choose between their child's success and everyday expenses.
- Services provided in groups to increase access and reduce costs
- Webinars for parents to assist them in providing support to their children at home
- Shorten treatment session times to provide services to more children
- Provide treatment bi-monthly rather than weekly to stretch funds (evidence suggests that this does not change treatment outcomes for certain disorders)
The MFC has a unique opportunity to extend and expand programs developed during the COVID-19 crisis, and continue to offer teletherapy to more families, introducing more creative and lower cost services to those families who are unable to travel to the MFC. As a result of this pandemic, teletherapy will become the new normal, allowing for more children to be reached, especially those on waiting lists and without access to treatment.
Join our initiative to overcome the challenges we face and help us provide support to children and youth with learning and communication difficulties.