What do volunteers do?

Created by one of our very own volunteers, Gayle Wilmot, this videos captures what volunteers do and their perspective in our community. It’s the “voice” of our volunteers.

Conversation facilitation:
Working with groups of 4 – 6 people with aphasia, volunteers enable members to interact, engage, challenge and develop amazing conversations. Always working in partnership with another co-facilitator, your role is to provide communication techniques specific to the members with aphasia, while also taking part in the conversation. This is an integral position in our program and a great starting place for new volunteers.

Other volunteer opportunities include:
Painting/Creative Program Assistant; Fitness Assistant; Book Group Co-facilitator; New Beginnings Program Facilitators; One-to-One Computer Facilitator; Outreach Home-Visit Communication Facilitators.

There are also positions available in the areas of research, administration, fundraising, and governance.

Every day is a ‘learning day.’ This is a volunteer experience that challenges me to explore new knowledge about communication, conversation and language.

Myriam Shechter, Conversation Facilitator, 10 years.

We value the long-standing commitment and dedication our volunteers bring to our centre. We require that volunteers make a one year commitment typically consisting of a weekly 3-hour shift.

  1. Attend one of our Volunteer Information Sessions (see below).
  2. Complete the Volunteer Application Form.
  3. The Coordinator of Volunteer Services will contact you to arrange an interview.

While it is not unusual for us to receive a high volume of inquiries, we are currently experiencing an exceptionally high volume of volunteer applications. Please expect that it may take a few days for us to respond to all inquiries.

Our next starting points for new volunteer trainees will be in early July and October. Space limitations in the virtual program format may reduce the number of new volunteers we can accept. We appreciate your interest and thank you for your patience as we work hard to engage new volunteers when and where possible.

Monthly information sessions provide an opportunity for us to present the wide range of volunteer opportunities, provide a “big picture” of our programs and then allow you to “interview” us to ensure that we can provide what you are looking for in a volunteer experience.

Volunteer Orientation Sessions occur on specific Fridays (see below), start at 2:00pm, and are generally one hour in length. These sessions provide information about our volunteer opportunities, expectations of our volunteers, and what you can expect from us. They are highly recommended if you are considering applying for a volunteer position at the Aphasia Institute.

Please fill the below form to reserve your spot at one of the following sessions. All sessions are via Zoom, with a 2:00pm start. All sessions are on Fridays.

Sessions in 2021:

  • Friday, January 29th
  • Friday, February 26th CANCELLED
  • Friday, March 26th
  • Friday, April 23rd
  • Friday, May 28th
  • Friday, June 18th
  • Friday, August 27th
  • Friday, September 24th
  • Friday, October 29th
  • Friday, November 26th

    Start dates for volunteers are coordinated in conjunction with our member registration and our Supported Conversation for Adults with Aphasia training program.

    Entry points for volunteers into our 2021 Program are the following weeks:

    • Late April/Early May
    • Jul 5
    • Oct 4

    Our Conversation Program is an ideal opportunity for students who are pursuing a degree in Speech and Language Pathology. However, due to the high number of student applicants, we accept a fixed number of students at each entry point into the program. We therefore have a highly competitive process for student applicants. If you require a clinical reference from our Speech and Language Pathologist as part of the application process for Graduate Studies, please ask our Coordinator of Volunteer Services about our specific requirements for Clinical References

    "I’ve been working at the Aphasia Institute since early 2007 and I love my job. It's incredibly rewarding to work in a collaborative environment where I get to be part of life-changing work for people living with aphasia and the healthcare providers who serve them. I feel affirmed, encouraged and supported as we work together on innovative and dynamic initiatives that accomplish our mission and vision in new, creative and resourceful ways."
    - Marisca Baldwin, Staff Member
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