TORONTO, March 11, 2021 – Today, the Honourable Stephen Lecce, Ontario’s Minister of Education announced that schools across the province could begin offering American Sign Language (ASL) and la Langue des Signes Québeçoise (LSQ) second language as optional courses effective September 2021.
“At Canadian Hearing Services (CHS), we believe in a barrier-free society for Deaf and hard of hearing Canadians. Today’s announcement promotes the kind of opportunities for developing language and cultural skills that students deserve,” said Julia N. Dumanian, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Hearing Services. “As a provider of ASL and LSQ education, we endorse and applaud the Ontario Government’s decision to include ASL and LSQ as a second language courses in the secondary school curriculum. This move will benefit not just the Deaf and hard of hearing but also enrich communities across the province.”
The inclusion of ASL and LSQ will mean more families across Ontario will be able to communicate in different ways, while also giving students the opportunity to earn a school credit.
“By expanding second-language course options for students, our Government is cementing its role as a leader in providing innovative learning opportunities,” said Minister Lecce. “By offering students the chance to learn ASL or LSQ, they can expand their language skills while developing greater understanding of Ontario’s ASL and LSQ culture.”
“By giving high school students the opportunity to learn ASL and/or LSQ, we are increasing language and cultural skills,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility.
CHS was founded in 1940 to further the cause of Deaf and hard of hearing people. Today’s announcement coincides with the organization’s milestone anniversary, as it celebrates 81 years of providing services, products and education to empower its diverse communities.
About Canadian Hearing Services
Canadian Hearing Services is an industry-leading provider of services, products and education that empower people who are Deaf and hard of hearing to overcome barriers to participation. CHS is the largest and only Accredited organization of its kind in North America. CHS services are provided by highly trained professionals with expertise and experience to meet the needs of their clients in convenient, accessible, and confidential environments. For more information about CHS services and products, visit CHS.ca or call 1-866-518-0000.
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