Canada is no longer a country of two cultures and a Western European heritage. Social changes are also happening in matters of gender, sexuality, religious belief, etc. Is Canada’s diversity being reflected in the Deaf community?
The CAD-ASC fights for and supports equality, and opposes the oppression of Deaf people in Canada, regardless of their race, religion, sexuality, age, or other identity traits.
The Canadian Association of the Deaf-Association des Sourds du Canada is an “equality-seeking group”. Our mandate requires us to support other groups who seek equality for their constituency, whether it be racial, sexual, gender, religious, political, or social equality. The only exception would be groups whose objectives and mandates conflict with ours, or who seek destructive ends, or who do not themselves support and practice the acceptance of diversity.
Canada has benefited from an influx of immigrants from all around the world. These immigrants include Deaf people. The Canadian Association of the Deaf-Association des Sourds du Canada encourages all Deaf organizations to welcome these people, not as “strangers from strange lands” but as people who share our deafness, our Deaf language, and our Deaf culture. Our deafness and our Deaf pride give us more in common than our differences place between us.
The Canadian Deaf community is also home to a large and strong constituency of gay/lesbian/bisexual and transsexual/transgendered people. Many of them play important roles in our national Deaf community and have contributed much to keep our culture and arts alive and thriving. We support their ongoing struggle for full equality and acceptance.
Deafness is a high-percentage disability in Canada’s First Nations communities; one study has estimated that 25 percent of First Nations people have some degree of hearing loss. Health care, support services, educational opportunities, and productive employment are in critically short supply in their communities. The Canadian Association of the Deaf-Association des Sourds du Canada strongly supports their fight for recognition, acceptance, services, and opportunities, not only within their own communities but within the larger Canadian society as well.
As a quadrilingual organization – ASL, LSQ, English and French – the Canadian Association of the Deaf-Association des Sourds du Canada strives to provide full respect and equality to both of Canada’s official language groups and cultures.
We acknowledge that many members of “traditional” Canada may find it difficult to feel comfortable with members of the “new” Canada upon first meeting them. Their discomfort should be recognized and respected; at the same time, they should be provided with encouragement and support in overcoming these feelings and opening themselves to experiencing new friends and colleagues who happen to have different backgrounds. The Canadian Deaf community has a strong need to be energized and expanded by the wholehearted inclusion of all Deaf people.
APPROVED: 3 JULY 2015
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
The Canadian Association of the Deaf-Association des Sourds du Canada
606- 251 Bank Street
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1X3