President, Canadian Association of the Deaf
September 19 to 25, 2022, is known globally as the International Week of Deaf People. As a member of the World Federation of the Deaf, the Canadian Association of the Deaf – Association des Sourds du Canada has undertaken to educate Canadians about the issues we face throughout the year.
The Canadian Association of the Deaf – Association des Sourds du Canada (CAD-ASC) is the first national organization established in 1940 to promote the rights, needs, and concerns of Deaf people in Canada. Since then, the mandate has been enlarged to address the needs of Deaf-blind, Deaf-Disabled, and hard of hearing people who use Sign language as their primary language of communication.
How many people can celebrate deafness in Canada
Although statistical researchers may ask a person if they self-identify as a person with a hearing disability, they often don’t ask if the person uses Sign — American Sign Language (ASL) or Langue des signes du Québec (LSQ). Such information is vital if governments or employers are to design programs or budgets for accommodations to become truly inclusive.
Meaning that there is no simple answer to how many Deaf people live in Canada. In our opinion, with strong disclaimers, we estimate approximately 357,000 Canadians are Deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing and use ASL/LSQ.
Human rights for all, not always
Canadian society prides itself on being an inclusive nation that promotes and protects human rights. However, provincial human rights legislation allows discrimination if the cost of accommodation would create an undue hardship for an employer or service provider.
CAD-ASC willingly promotes the awareness of these issues to promote Sign languages in education, employment for Deaf people, the health of Deaf people in times of crisis, and promoting the opportunity for Deaf people to be leaders in Canadian society and beyond. In our way, we invite you to celebrate with us and the World Federation of the Deaf @WFDeaf_org, as we celebrate Sign languages throughout Canada and across the world during this International Week of Deaf People and International Day of Sign Languages. #IDSL and #GlobalLeadersChallenge.