The Canadian Hearing Society is the leading provider of services, products, and information that:
- remove barriers to communication
- advance hearing health
- promote equity for people who are culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing
CHS strives for a society where all people are respected; have full access to communication; and are able to participate without social, economic, or emotional barriers.
Representing and Serving Consumers
For more than 70 years, CHS has served people who are culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing.
Since it was founded in 1940, CHS has tried to meet the needs of all the communities it serves. As an advocate, CHS has pressed for accessibility in workplaces, health care and education. As a service provider, CHS has been a one-stop-shop for a wide range of services.
Besides being the largest Canadian provider of services that remove barriers to communication, advance hearing health, and promote equity for people who are culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing, CHS has promoted internal equity. The majority of its governing Board of Directors is deaf, deafened or hard of hearing, as are 39% of its employees.
Despite widespread reductions in government funding for social services and continuing economic pressures, CHS has been able to maintain or expand most of its services. This has been achieved through a combination of government advocacy and increased management efficiencies.
"I think that CHS tries to reach out to the WHOLE Community and its allies, trying to provide as many services as possible in the most appropriate and successful way." -- Consumer survey
Managing Through Turbulence
Running a social service agency these days is like whitewater rafting. We're being tossed by waves, dodging rocks and trying not to capsize.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed. But it can also push us past our limitations.
Our Strategic Plan lays out ambitious, measurable objectives that will stretch CHS. Over the next three years, CHS aims to become a stronger, more responsive organization by:
- Building sustainable, diversified funding streams
- Reducing service gaps
- Increasing the public visibility of CHS
And we will use a process that is based on evidence, fairness, transparency and equity.
"I was laid off from work because of my hearing loss. My counsellor explained how the Ontario Human Rights Commission works and helped me file a complaint." -- Consumer
CHS was incorporated in 1940 to "impartially serve and support deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people, parents of deaf and hard of hearing children and to educate the hearing public."
Unique in North America, CHS offers a complete roster of essential services, including sign language interpreting; one-on-one language development for deaf and hard of hearing children using play as the medium of learning; employment consulting; sign language instruction; speechreading training; hearing testing; hearing aids; counselling; and, the most complete range of communication devices that assist and augment communication including TTYs (text telephones), visual smoke detectors, baby monitors, signalling devices and alarm clocks.
The largest agency of its kind in Canada, CHS employs approximately 450 people who deliver more than 17 programs through a network of 28 offices across Ontario. All services are provided by professionals experienced in meeting the needs of deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people in an accessible, confidential environment.
Culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing Canadians continue to experience discrimination in the workplace and when accessing vital services that most Canadians take for granted such as education, employment, health care, and housing. CHS helps in many different ways, offering a range of options to promote full access.
"When I lost my hearing I felt isolated and I slowly stopped seeing my friends. I didn't know where to turn. The counsellor at CHS helped me choose communication devices, suggested speechreading classes and helped me put my life back in order." -- Consumer
In the next three years, by March 2015, CHS will improve funding stability, service availability, and public visibility, setting aspirational 'stretch' targets to stimulate creative approaches.
CHS will build sustainable, diversified revenue streams by:
- Doubling Hearing Aid Program, CDP and Accessibility Consulting revenues
- Doubling fundraising net revenues
- Increasing efficiencies and/or reducing expenditures
In the context of the Ontario government's plans to cut community services, any funding increases will need to build on our successful Hearing Care programs, grow our new Accessibility Consulting offering, and expand our fundraising initiatives.
Programs and Services
CHS will improve the quality and availability of services by:
- Strengthening programming and corporate support services by implementing a Quality Assurance program
- Expanding geographic coverage of services in rural and remote areas of Ontario by 20%
- Developing information and referral resources for persons with cochlear implants
- Expanding CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) and Print fee-for-service offerings throughout Ontario
- Providing a sustainable model of support to the families of children and youth identified with hearing loss
- Enhancing Employment Services in regional and area offices
The launch of Video Relay Services in the next year or two will enable consumers throughout Ontario, not only in regions served by CHS, to take advantage of phone-based counselling.
CHS will increase its public awareness and visibility, establishing CHS as the 'Go To' organization for all culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people in Ontario by:
- Developing an organization-wide Awareness Action Plan and Marketing Delivery Model by end of 2012
- Implementing the Awareness Action Plan, achieving defined targets for public awareness, brand recognition, media coverage, advocacy and hearing health issues
"Overall, CHS has a passion for serving the community." -- Consumer survey
Throughout the next three years, as we respond to the needs of our consumers and the changing requirements of our funders, we commit to our Principles of Service:
Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people should have equal and equitable access to all aspects of life including employment, education, recreation, housing, health care and social services. Similarly, CHS services should be accessible to the multicultural community it serves.
CHS is committed to promoting the rights of deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people.
CHS should provide individuals and community organizations with as much knowledge as possible to promote informed decision-making and program development. This includes information about hearing health care, Deaf culture and issues relevant to the deaf, deafened and hard of hearing communities.
Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people should be involved in the planning and decision-making processes for all services relevant to their lives.
Consistent with its ambition to advocate full access for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing persons and to reflect the racial and ethnic diversity at large, CHS is committed to internal employment equity.
CHS services support deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people in achieving individual, maximum independence and in facilitating self-help.
CHS is committed to providing its services to an optimum level.
CHS is committed to respecting the variety of perspectives and cultural outlooks of our consumers.
CHS encourages the availability of service options so that deaf, deafened and hard of hearing individuals and their families can select the program best suited to their needs.
The Canadian Hearing Society
271 Spadina Road
Toronto ON M5R 2V3
(416) 928-2535 Phone
(877) 347 3427 Phone Toll Free
(877) 216 7310 TTY Toll Free
(416) 928 2506 Fax