Communications is Our Connection
Canadian Hearing Society Communication is our connection to life and people. The Canadian Hearing Society (CHS) has been serving persons with hearing loss and culturally Deaf persons, their support networks and service providers for more than 70 years. Founded in 1940, CHS is a not-for-profit agency and the leading provider of services, products and information that remove barriers to communication; advance hearing health; and promote equality for people who are culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard-of-hearing. Their vision is “A society where all people are respected; have full access to communication; and are able to participate without social, economic, or emotional barriers.” The CHS offers many programs that fall under five main categories: Accessibility Services, Hearings Clinics Plus, Counselling Services, Education Programs, and Employment Services. According to a CHS awareness survey, 1 out of every 4 Canadian adults report having some degree of hearing loss, although closer to 10 percent actually identify themselves as culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing.
United Way funding supports the Hearing Care Counselling Program (HCCP), which provides communication and hearing health support services to enable a senior citizen with acquired hearing loss to carry out activities of daily living independently, safely, and with reduced communication difficulties.
Through this program, people like Mrs. Smith* whose family was concerned for her safety due to recent invaders in her home, applied for Long Term Care (LTC) housing. Through counselling, the Hearing Care Counsellor determined that Mrs Smith left her door unlocked to ensure that visitors, whose knock or ring she could not hear, could enter. This resulted in strangers entering at will on a number of occasions. Through assessment, Mrs. Smith’s home was outfitted with communication devices that visually and auditorily informed her of incoming sounds such as the doorbell, phone ringing, smoke alarm thereby allowing her to remain in her family home feeling much more secure and safe. Her family, feeling the same, withdrew her application to a LTC facility.
The United Way also supports the Northern Literacy & Lifeskills Program (NLLP), where Deaf Adult learners develop a 1st language, American Sign Language and cultural (Deaf) identify as well as necessary skills and competencies required to achieve their goals such as independence and employment. It is the only Literacy Basic Skills program for Deaf adults north of Sault Ste. Marie
Mr. Jones, born Deaf, grew up void of language development. His world was therefore dependent on others. Through the Northern Literacy and Lifeskills Program, Mr. Jones developed language, American Sign Language, as well as skills and competencies necessary to realize his goal of independence. Mr. Jones is now able to function as an independent Adult living on his own and participating in life.
*name changed for privacy protection
Canadian Hearing Society is located at 125 South Syndicate Avenue – Suite 35 and can be reached at 623-1646 or TTY 623-5639