Over the past year, Canadian Hearing Services (CHS) has worked hard to ensure it continues to deliver the services and care Deaf and hard of hearing Canadians deserve in the midst of the global pandemic.
In March 2020 when offices across Canada and around the world were shut down, CHS implemented work from home policies to ensure the safety of its clients, staff and community partners. That led to the launch of several essential services using remote video technology.
Upon consideration of the ongoing challenges associated with COVID-19 and the guidance being provided by public health authorities, the following programs and services will continue to be delivered virtually for the foreseeable future, including:
- Interpretation and Translation Services: Our highly skilled interpreters use sign language and spoken language to provide clear two-way communication between Deaf and hearing people at scheduled meetings and appointments, and in unforeseen emergency situations.
- Hearing Care Counselling: If you are 55 or older and have a hearing loss, we offer free counselling services to help you improve communication with family and friends, stay involved in social activities, and remain safe and independent at home.
- CONNECT Mental Health Counselling: Our professional counselling services to Deaf and hard of hearing individuals, ages 16 and older, and their families, who are living with mental health issues, addiction, relationship problems, domestic violence, or other serious challenges.
- Employment Services: Our employment consultants specialize in the unique needs of adults aged 16 and over who are Deaf or hard of hearing to help you find a job and succeed at work.
- General Support Services: Provides assistance to manage everyday life events from completing government forms to attending court and coping with hearing loss.
In addition, CHS’s Deafblind Services provided by our North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Timmins offices will continue to provide community-support services by appointment only. All Deafblind services delivered in the community will be done in accordance with allowable activities authorized by the municipal and/or Ontario provincial government, and in full compliance with all health and safety guidelines to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
At the beginning of July 2020, guided by the latest health and government experts, CHS re-opened a number of its key audiology clinics. Our audiology professionals are now offering in-person service and care by appointment only at the following audiology clinics: Hamilton, Kingston, Mississauga (Peel Region), Ottawa, Scarborough (Providence Hospital), Sudbury, Toronto, and Windsor.
“All decisions that we have made, and will continue to make, prioritize the health, safety and well-being of our staff and the clients we serve.” said Julia N. Dumanian, President & CEO of CHS.
CHS is monitoring this fast-evolving pandemic and working closely with all levels of public health authorities to reduce the risk of transmission. Any changes to public health directives will drive our immediate action to ensure the safety of our staff and clients.
Since CHS launched its virtual operations at the end of March 2020, we have been able to deliver more than 230,000 virtual appointments! Some of our virtual counselling milestones include:
- More than 100,000 clients served
- Welcoming more than 17,000 new clients
- More than 15,000 in-person audiology appointments
- More than 180 jobs secured for our clients
In addition, we have also been engaging our diverse community to ensure their needs are being appropriately met during this pandemic. We are proud to report that our February 2021 client satisfaction results reveal a 100% satisfaction/very satisfied rate, while 100% reported they would continue using our virtual services.
We are proud of our staff who are consistently "Raising the Bar" by ensuring our clients, their families and caregivers are well supported during this unprecedented time.