Recognizing International Week of Deaf People

Newmarket, Ontario, Sept. 13, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- September is an important month for the Deaf community, marking the International Week of Deaf People from September 18-24. The International Week of Deaf People strives to promote the human rights of people who are Deaf and their right to sign anywhere.  

Over 1.3 million or 5% of Canadians aged 15 years and over have hearing loss. In Ontario, 563, 350 or 4.19% people aged 15 years and over have hearing loss.  

As a person who is Deaf with a developmental disability, Cathy receives support from Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who communicate with her using American Sign Language (ASL). ASL is a visual language consisting of manual signs and gestures, used by people who are Deaf. Thanks to the confidence she has in her knowledge of ASL, Cathy is proud to help teach new DeafBlind Ontario Services employees different signs in ASL so they can increase their ability to communicate with the people we support.  

For Cathy, including accessibility features in her home enables her to safely navigate her environment as independently as possible to accommodate her leg braces. These features include rails and ramps that make her space easier to move around as she participates with her DSP in activities she loves like cooking, knitting and gardening. Cathy likes to try new recipes using ingredients from different cultures and shares them with the people in her home. 

Cathy also enjoys going out with the help of a Direct Support Professional (DSP) to visit with her friends, grab a cup of coffee, and shop in her neighbourhood. Her favourite trips are the ones made with a DSP who is also Deaf. Not only does this DSP help to facilitate communication, but they also share a bond that helps Cathy build confidence in her own communication.  

Accessible forms of communication, like ASL, are essential for creating an inclusive culture. The theme for this year’s International Week of Deaf People is ‘A World Where Deaf People Everywhere Can Sign Anywhere”. To learn more about how you can get involved, visit 


DeafBlind Ontario Services 
DeafBlind Ontario Services supports people who are deafblind, as well as people who are Deaf, hard of hearing and non-verbal with a developmental disability.  Specialized services are customized to each person’s unique needs, method of communication, and goals to live their best life. 

Twitter: @DeafBlindON 
Instagram: @DeafBlindON 


Cathy knitting Cathy cooking

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