Canadian Hearing Society
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Sign Language Classes for Businesses

Arrange customized sign language classes for employees at your workplace.

CHS offers workplace classes customized to the needs of businesses and organizations who want their employees to learn American Sign Language (ASL) to improve communication with their customers, clients and co-workers.

What is American Sign Language (ASL)?

American Sign Language (ASL) is the language of most Deaf Canadians. It is a visual language made up of specific gestures (signs), hand shapes and facial expressions. It has its own unique grammatical rules and sentence structure.

How CHS can teach ASL at your workplace

Special contracts and schedules can be devised to accommodate the needs of your workplace and the different sign language skill levels of your employees. For example, classes can be taught over the lunch hour to minimize downtime.

About CHS sign language classes

Our qualified Deaf instructors use Signing Naturally, a sign language curriculum developed at Vista Community College in Berkeley, California that teaches both ASL and Deaf culture to help your employees better understand the communication needs of the Deaf community.

A “no-voice” teaching method is used to reinforce the learning experience. Participants learn through classroom instruction and role-play, as well as videotext and a workbook. The videotext and workbook supplement and reinforce the classroom instruction so participants can review, practice and retain what they learn.

There are three course levels:

Level one (101, 102, and 103) is designed to introduce students to ASL. Concepts discussed relate to people, places and things within the immediate environment. Students learn to handle basic, everyday communication such as exchanging information, identifying/describing others, and asking for clarification.

Level two (201, 202, 203) emphasizes language in context: locating things around the house, learning numeracy, making requests with inflection, talking about life events and family histories, describing objects and having social conversation.

Level three (301, 302, 303) focuses on building narrative skills, moving from an informal to a more formal presentation, and on developing conversational skills used in everyday discussion.

How your business can benefit

Giving your employees an opportunity to learn ASL will:

  • create an accessible workplace for people who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • improve your customer service levels
  • allow your business to reach new markets

How to arrange ASL classes in your workplace   

To find out about customizing sign language classes at your business or organization, contact one of the CHS locations across Ontario that offers classes. 

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