The Province of British Columbia, in addition to the regular block of funds allocated to school districts and independent schools for education, also funds a group of education alternatives known as Provincial Resource Programs. These programs help public and independent schools meet the educational needs of students in exceptional circumstances.
The Provincial Resource Program – Auditory Outreach, in collaboration with provincial centres, local audiologists and other service providers, assists public and independent schools throughout the province address the needs of school-aged students with hearing loss. Auditory Outreach provides a variety of services including but not limited to: consultation to school staff and to parents, assistance with assessments and assistance with the establishment of goals for individualized programs. Auditory Outreach also loans assistive listening devices to school districts, and group 1 and 2 independent schools, for individual students with hearing loss identified as needing this technology for school use.
Many families with deaf children are opting for cochlear implants. These are surgically implanted devices that stimulate the auditory nerve and allow deaf individuals to perceive sound and develop oral language. Auditory Outreach provides support to students with cochlear implants and other implantable devices (ie. Baha) so that students can derive maximum benefit from this technology.
Cochlear implant requests for support for CI students can be initiated by a parent, a principal, school/district administrator, an implant centre, or by a student if over the age of 18.