Canadian Hearing Society
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The Canadian Hearing Society (CHS) was founded in 1940 to provide services for deaf and hard of hearing people in Ontario. Services include instruction in American and Quebec sign languages, interpreter services, deafblind intervenors, audiology and speech-language pathology. The CHS advocates for the hearing impaired in Canada through the support of 9-1-1 texting, visual fire alarms, and access to the justice system. The CHS handles emergency situations in hospitals, emergency rooms, after-hours clinics, shelters, and police services.
Ontario interpreting services
Ontario Interpreting Services (OIS) provides interpreting services across Ontario for American and Quebec sign language in some regions. They cover a range of public and personal events.
The workplace accessibility program assesses the workplace to ensure that there are no barriers for the deaf and hard of hearing. It provides seminars to "increase awareness of hearing loss in the workplace". Business staff and management are educated to raise awareness of hearing loss and provide strategies for communication, which includes holding accessible meetings.
Communication devices program
The Communication Devices Program (CDP) was made on behalf of members who were "culturally deaf, orally deaf, deafened or hard of hearing". The main aim is to offer technical solutions to communication barriers. The CDP recommends devices (such as specialized alarm clocks, telephones, TTYs, and smoke alarms) for the home, workplace or business.
Video conferencing services
The CHS provides video conferencing services (VCS) in 25 offices across Ontario. VCS allows for conferencing with up to 12 locations and can be used for many different purposes such as interviews, meetings or training sessions.
The CHS Audiology service is available in Hamilton, Mississauga, Toronto, Kenora, Sarnia, Windsor, Ottawa, Sudbury and Toronto East. The audiology program takes a holistic approach to hearing health care by looking at hearing loss and the ways in which it affects life. Audiologists provide hearing tests, hearing aid evaluations, hearing aid check-ups and fine tuning, and hearing aid fitting and dispensing for children and adults.
Hearing care counselling program
The Hearing Care Counselling Program is available in 26 Ontario locations. This program is designed to assist seniors with hearing loss to adapt and stay connected. Priority is given to adults aged 55 and older, although younger adults are eligible for the program. Counsellors provide "home visits, education, demonstrations and recommendations of communication devices".
CONNECT counselling program
The CONNECT Counselling Program is available in 26 locations across Ontario. CONNECT is a mental health counseling service provided by the CHS. CONNECT is a program designed to help individuals or families with deaf, deafened or hard of hearing members by providing them with counseling for a variety of reasons, including "mental health and illness, depression, relationship difficulties, abuse, family support, education, advocacy and counselling".
American Sign Language classes
In North America, American Sign Language is the primary language used by the deaf community. The CHS provides individuals with the opportunity to learn American Sign Language from qualified deaf instructors. Classes are offered throughout the year at a variety of skill levels, from beginner to advanced.
There are 29 CHS locations across Ontario:
- Elliot Lake
- North Bay
- Sault Ste Marie
- Toronto (Scarborough)
- Thunder Bay
- York Region
- Industry Canada Company Directories: Assistive Devices accessed 23 August 2012.
- Alyshah Hasham, "CRTC tests 911 texting for hearing and speech impaired Toronto Star 16 February 2012, accessed 15 March 2012.
- Human Rights, Disability and Accessibility Issues Regarding Visual Fire Alarms for People who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ontario Human Rights Commission.
- Sarah Boesveld and Anna Mehler Paperny, "Deaf man arrested in G20 protest gets bail " Globe and Mail 26 June 2010, accessed 15 March 2012.
- "Ontario Interpreting Services". The Canadian Hearing Society. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "Workplace Accessability". The Canadian Hearing Society. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "Communication Devices Program". The Canadian Hearing Society. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "Video Conferencing Services". The Canadian Hearing Society. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "Audiology". The Canadian Hearing Society. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "Hearing Care Counseling Program". The Canadian Hearing Society. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "CONNECT Counseling Program". The Canadian Hearing Society. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "American Sign Language Classes". The Canadian Hearing Society. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "Locations". The Canadian Hearing Society. Retrieved 20 November 2012.