Here are answers to frequently asked questions. If you do not find the answer to your question in this category, do not hesitate to contact us.

Where can I learn Sign language?

Contact your local or provincial service agency. You can easily find these agencies from many sources such as the Yellow Pages. Or simply do a search on the Internet, using a key phrase such as “deaf service agencies”. Nearly all of these agencies have their own websites.

Check colleges and universities in your area — many of them offer Sign language programs. Adult learning courses in Sign are very often provided by local school boards, too.

The Canadian Association of the Deaf-Association des Sourds du Canada (CAD-ASC) does not offer classes in Sign language

Questions about Sign language interpreters:

  • Where can I hire a Sign language interpreter?
  • Where can I learn to become a Sign language interpreter?
  • I am a qualified Sign language interpreter because I have completed a course in fingerspelling.
  • How much do interpreters charge?
  • Is there any funding available to pay for Sign language interpreters for our conference or job training?

Interpreting is an extremely challenging job. It requires thorough training and professional accreditation.

If you are interested in becoming an interpreter, the first step is to complete a full program of Sign language training. This can involve as many as seven levels. One course in fingerspelling doesn’t qualify you to become an interpreter, any more than one course in the Cyrillic alphabet would qualify you to become a Russian translator!

When you have completed all levels of Sign language training, you may apply for acceptance into professional interpreter training programs. These are usually provided by universities and colleges such as Douglas College in B.C. or George Brown College in Toronto. Just like any other university/college program, these require several years of intensive education and practice.

Most professional interpreters in Canada become members of the Canadian Association of Visual Language Interpreters (CASLI). After a few years of working, further certification may be sought (such as CASLI’s CES certificate) in order to specialize in certain kinds of interpreting, or to obtain standing as a government interpreter.

Fees charged may depend upon location and the interpreter’s level of achievement. We suggest you contact AVLIC for information about general fee rates in your province or city.

Many interpreters work through the Deaf service agencies in each province; these agencies should be the first places to contact when you wish to hire an interpreter. Many other interpreters work independently or through local/provincial interpreter cooperatives and networks, such as SLINC (Sign Language Interpreters of the National Capital, i.e., Ottawa-Gatineau area).

Interpreting costs can be deducted as business expenses for most businesses. Governments are required to provide and fund interpreters for public and private government meetings and events at which Deaf people participate, whether or not those Deaf people are employees of the government itself.

For other funding possibilities, contact your provincial government.

I want to teach my child Sign language

The CAD-ASC offers a fully interactive parent-child approach in the form of a DVD called “Bridge of Signs”, which will help both you and your child learn some Sign language basics for everyday use. Check our website for more information!

You may also consider looking for local play-groups for Deaf children or Baby Sign groups, or even starting one yourself.

Where can I buy…

  • a hearing-aid?
  • technical devices such as TTYs, visual alarms, vibrating clocks, etc.?

Contact the service agencies. The CAD-ASC does not sell devices.

My elderly parent has become very hard of hearing and I would like to know if there are any nursing homes or retirement homes that specialize in taking care of deaf seniors.

There are very few care facilities for elderly people where Sign language is used. The Bob Rumball Centre For the Deaf maintains facilities in Toronto and Barrie, Ontario. Halifax and Montreal have special Deaf sections in a home. One or two other cities may have similar facilities. You need to contact your provincial/local service agency to find out if there are Deaf nursing or retirement facilities in other areas.

I am a Deaf person living in another country. I would like to come to Canada to study, work, and/or live. Please help me!

The Canadian Association of the Deaf-Association des Sourds du Canada has no resources for this purpose. We cannot undertake immigration sponsorship or assist you with visa requirements.

I would like to meet a nice Deaf boy/girl living in Canada.

We are not a matchmaking organization and we will not respond to such requests.

How many Deaf people are there in Canada and my province and my city?

Please see our Position Paper on Statistics.

Are there are scholarships, bursaries, or other financial assistance for Deaf students?

None that we know of. However, you should contact the university/college that you wish to attend and ask them the same question.

Please give me a job working for the CAD-ASC.

Anytime a job opening becomes available at the CAD-ASC, we place an advertisement on our Careers page. Applicants must compete for such specific jobs. We encourage you to check our website frequently for such advertisements.

Where can I meet other Deaf Canadians for social activities?

Find out what Deaf associations are active in your location. You can usually obtain this information from your local or provincial service agency or Deaf organization, and by checking out the resources and links section of our website. You can also get it from provincial Deaf schools if your province has one. And of course, a search on the Internet will turn up answers to this question, too.

I am fed-up with the terrible captioning on TV programming! Also, why aren’t all TV programs captioned?

All programs are supposed to be captioned on Canadian channels. If they are not, or if the quality of the captioning is poor, send a complaint to the CCTS (Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services). They have a very easy on-line complaint form: CCTS Complaint Form.