Client success story: Ramandeep

Close up of Ramandeep

Growing up in India, Ramandeep had no idea anyone else was Deaf like her. She used homemade sign language with family and some friends to communicate, but because she was shy, she would never communicate with anyone unless they knew her homemade language.  

Ramandeep tried attending junior kindergarten in India, but eventually left because there was no easy way to communicate with hearing students. Leaving school broke her heart. As a result, she never had a chance to learn her native language in India and how to read or write.

That all changed in the summer of 2019, when Ramandeep enrolled in the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program at Canada Hearing Services (CHS) in Peel. The LINC program supports Deaf newcomers through programming that provides opportunities to improve official language skills (American Sign Language or ASL and written English) as well as life skills which support the individual’s successful social and economic integration in Canada.

When Ramandeep arrived for her first class, she was surprised to meet other Deaf learners and instructors for the very first time. At first, she was nervous and quiet, but it wasn’t long before the LINC class helped overcome her shyness. 

Ramandeep would ask questions often during class and she quickly acquired reading and writing skills in English and became proficient in ASL. Now she can write messages to her friends in India and can communicate with new Deaf friends in ASL.

“It was astonishing,” Ramandeep’s sister, Jaspreet, recalls. “Her life has changed a lot ever since learning ASL. I see her becoming more independent and relying less on others to help her understand the world. She is very hardworking and she will not stop learning until she understands the subject at hand.” 

Even the COVID-19 pandemic was unable to slow Ramandeep down. Since CHS’s physical offices closed in March 2020, Ramandeep has continued to attend the virtual LINC classes four days per week.

“I must continue to learn more English and ASL, because I want to have a better life with a future job,” Ramandeep says. “I am very happy that I can now communicate.”

Click here to learn more about LINC