|Carter with the Vantage device borrowed from Aroga.|
The SLP informed me that the Vantage Lite had recently been recommended for approval by ADP but it had not yet been approved and was not on the list of devices available for lease.
My inquiries eventually lead to an answer: the Vantage Lite 'should' be approved within the next few months.
Meanwhile, Aroga was kind enough to offer the loan of their Vantage device until the approval took place, which turned out to be two months later - but, as I would find out, just because a device is approved that does not mean it is immediately available for lease.
The Assistive Devices Program offered some wonderful benefits including the fact that we could lease a device for Carter for a minimal monthly lease fee and if anything went wrong with the device it could simply be exchanged for a fully functioning device. However, the benefits didn't erase my concern about having to settle for a device with lesser capabilities than what Carter needed.
My husband and I considered waiting a further three to four months to see if things would fall into place in our favour. Maybe we'd get lucky and the Vantage Lite would be the first device to become available. After weighing things out, we agreed that we'd waited long enough. Carter had waited long enough. We went ahead and used our ADP funding to purchase Carter's Vantage Lite outright (the funding would cover 75% of the cost).
This meant several things.
- We would not be eligible for any further funding for the next 5 years.
- If anything were to go wrong with Carter's device we would be responsible for getting it fixed on our own (this happened last year when Carter dropped his device at school. You can read that story here.)
And finally, the most surprising and disappointing thing of all:
3. We were immediately discharged from AAC speech therapy service at the children's development centre. "As Carter's device is purchased, per ACS policy, he is discharged from ACS at this time." (from Carter's Augmentative Communication Services (ACS) Discharge Report dated Jan. 27, 2011)
Like so much of what we'd experienced throughout this process, this made no sense. We were extremely frustrated. Finally, Carter would have his own speech device but we would have no support in helping him learn how to use it.
Click here for Part 4 of Carter's Story: A Device for Carter But Who Will Help Us?