We believe that sign language education fosters well-being. Ninety percent of Deaf children are born to hearing parents. They have hearing siblings and extended families. Deaf children, Deaf teens, and Deaf adults are often silenced without the exposure to sign language and culture. Yet, across Canada 99% of Deaf children (Jr. Kindergarten to Grade 12) are enrolled in mainstream school board programs; less than 1% are attending Provincial Schools for Deaf students; and 96% of Deaf students are in oral-English education programs (Malkowski, 2011) that do not teach sign language at all.
Because many of our Deaf youths are attending their local schools, they are often left isolated and without access to Deaf role models. Therefore, our goal in the next three years is to strengthen our upcoming Deaf generation. To do so, we diligently promote youth connectivity and development by promoting Youth professional development practice and conducting school tours youth across the country to educate children about the history, experience, language and arts of Deaf people through encounters with Deaf visual artists and storytellers, with multimedia specialists who develop Canadian ASL literature, and with authors of Deaf literature.
Our gift of language campaign which features our ASLphabet.com—the recipient of the W3 Gold Award (2012)—is being designed to become a critical reference that will allow children to increase their ASL literacy, develop critical thinking and analytical skills as well as foster independent learning and research skills in a fun environment.
It will be especially valuable to children who are living in remote areas without the fellowship of the Deaf community. It will also be a wonderful resource for parents, siblings, friends, teachers, ASL students and other members of their community. Our educational programs also include developing entrepreneurial employment opportunities and skills to expand the unique Deaf Culture Centre gift-shop in order to achieve long term financial sustainability and growth as Canada’s premier outlet for Canadian Deaf artists, authors, educators and crafts persons. We also offer professional development opportunities for sign language instructors and teachers, training and evaluation procedures for the national Sign Language Instructors of Canada (SLIC) certification, and hosting educational SLIC Conferences find and hire qualified ASL/LSQ instructors to design and develop the SLIC certification process.
Overall, our guiding “step outside of the box” vision of integration is distinct and disconnected from the traditional concepts of ‘disability’, therefore our Deaf cultural space embodies empowerment where good things happen and the well-being of our Deaf citizens matters
Like every child, every dollar counts. Please join us in freeing a child from illiteracy and isolation.
All donations will receive a tax receipt. Registered Charitable Number: 11883 0702 RR0001.