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CHS Timeline- plain text

CHS 75th timeline

1940- Our founding

In 1938, Dr. Harry E. Amoss, Helen McMurrich, Daisy Moss, Lewis Wood, and Dr. Lorne Pierce met to discuss establishing “an organization which would further the cause of deaf and hard of hearing people.” By March 11, 1940, the National Society of the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing was born.

1942 – First grant

About 5,000 Canadian men returned from WWI with a hearing loss; limited services were available then. During WWII, the Society obtained a government grant to provide services to deafened servicemen.

1945 – Employment Services launches

Herb Montgomery travelled by car, small plane, and bus in search of jobs for people who were Deaf and hard of hearing, continuing work started in 1940. By 2003, Employment Services expanded into Belleville, Milton, Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay, York Region, and Ottawa and by 2015 was offered in 14 offices.

1956 – Name change

The National Society of the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing changed its name to “The Canadian Hearing Society.”

1961 – First regional office opens

First regional office opened in London, Ontario, followed by regional offices in Ottawa (1963), Hamilton (1969), Sudbury (1973), Windsor (1974), Sault Ste. Marie (1975), Kingston (1976), Waterloo (1976), Thunder Bay (1977), Barrie (1977), Peterborough (1979), Toronto (1979), and Mississauga (1987), York Region (1997). By 2015, there were 25 regional and sub-offices in Ontario.

1967 – First audiologist hired

CHS’s first clinical audiologist, Errol Davis, M.A., was hired. CHS provided the only independent hearing aid selection service in Toronto and set the standard for audiology clinics in teaching hospitals throughout the province. In 2015, services expanded to eight locations in Ontario.  

1972 Logo contest

CHS held a logo contest sponsored by Information Services (Marketing).  Telephone Pioneers of America, Champlain Council, provided a prize of $500 for the winner.  The new symbol would form the basis of a new corporate image for CHS.

1973 – Ear logo introduced

The “ear” logo designed by Richard Janis was introduced. Rationale behind logo:  the artist saw his logo as “a symbol of direction”. CHS adopted a new bilingual logo in 2011.

1975 – Advocating for access to telephones

CHS and the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) advocated for the right of access to telephones for people with hearing loss. In 1989, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ruled that all telephones must be hearing aid compatible.

1976 –TTY national directory

CHS published the first TTY national directory. CHS also pioneered the first TTY network across Ontario.

1980 – OIS established  

CHS and the Ontario Association of the Deaf (OAD) worked together to get government support for the first sign language interpreter service in Ontario in 1975. By 1980, Ontario Interpreting Services was officially established, making professional quality sign language interpreting available for the first time in many Ontario cities.

1984 – Educational support program launched

CHS started a program, Educational Support Services, to provide access including interpreting, captioning, note-taking, for part-time students in post-secondary institutions.

1986 – CONNECT Counselling launched

After five years of lobbying, CHS was granted funds from the Ministry of Health for the first specialized mental health services in Toronto for people who were culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing: CONNECT Counselling Services. In 2000, the Ontario Government funded the expansion of CONNECT across the province.

1986 – Bell Relay launched
After 10 years of lobbying, petitioning and hard work by CHS, the Canadian Association of the Deaf (CAD), CHHA, and others, the CRTC ordered Bell Canada to set up a 24/7 relay service in Ontario and Quebec. For the first time, people who were Deaf and hard of hearing were not dependent on others to make calls for them.

1988 – Signing Naturally curriculum adopted

CHS adopted the Signing Naturally curriculum and influenced its use throughout Ontario and also adopted a policy of hiring sign language teachers who were culturally Deaf.

1993 – ASL and LSQ are recognized as official languages of instruction

American Sign Language (ASL) and la langue des signes québécoise (LSQ) were officially recognized as the languages of instruction in the classroom after advocacy efforts  by CHS, MPP Richard Johnson, the Deaf Children’s Society, OAD, VOICE for Hearing Impaired Children, and CHHA Ontario.

1997 – Eldridge v. B.C

In 1996, CHS was one of three “intervenors”, CAD, and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, who along with others, intervened in the landmark legal battle “Eldridge v. British Columbia.” In October 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled that people who were Deaf are entitled to equal access (via interpreters) to medical attention as hearing people.

1998 – Senior outreach program designated

The Seniors’ Outreach program, developed in Windsor in 1987 and later in Kingston and then slowly expanded across Ontario, was officially designated as a professional, specialized program and renamed Hearing Care Counselling.

1999 –  DeafLINKS launched

CHS pioneered DeafLINKS, a network of computers and videocameras using the internet to help deaf, deafened, deaf/blind and hard of hearing individuals in remote areas to communicate with each other using email and video conferencing.  Service offers the opportunity to have face-to-face meetings, in real-time over the internet.

2000 – Interpreter Internship Program

The Interpreter Apprenticeship Training Program that began in 1988, later became the Interpreter Internship Program. 

2002 – Emergency Interpreting Services launched

CHS established an after-hours health and mental health-related emergency interpreting service. In 2011, Emergency Interpreting Services expanded to run 24/7/365 for emergencies occurring in: hospital emergency rooms; after-hours medical clinics; crisis centres; shelters; police services; court settings; and child welfare cases.

2004 – Eugene Fowler Award

The first “Eugene Fowler Award” was given to Eugene Fowler to recognize outstanding contributions by a CHS volunteer.

2005 – Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

After CHS, CHHA, CAD and others lobbied for 10 years, the Ontario Legislature unanimously passed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

2007 – The Barrier Free Education launched

The Barrier Free Education Initiative began with accessibility reviews, anti-audism and anti-ableism awareness training for school teachers, principals and board administrators. In 2015, the project included online training and resources for parents.

2011 – New logo

CHS adopted a new bilingual logo in 2011. In June 2011, CHS launches its new face: a refreshed, distinctive and inclusive, visual brand identity – a new logo. Announced by the CHS Board of Directors and as part of CHS’s 2007-2011 Strategic Plan, this mark replaces the previous logo and was decided upon through a consultative stakeholder and membership engagement.

2014 - CRTC approves VRS and T-911

Over many years, CHS worked together with CAD, BC Video Relay Services Committee, Ontario Video Relay Service Committee, OAD and other groups across Canada, to lobby for initiatives like Text with 911 and Video Relay Services (VRS) which were approved by the CRTC in 2014.

2015 – Ontario Building Code

CHS recommendations to amend the Ontario Building Code to require all new residential buildings to have a visual component in their smoke and fire alarms were accepted and effective January 1, 2015.

2015 – 75th logo introduced

As part of 75th Anniversary celebrations, CHS adopts a 75th logo with a new tagline. CHS:  proudly serving Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities for 75 years.



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