Deaf & Hear Alberta (formerly Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services)

Our client groups are distinct and different. The Deaf community is a unique cultural group united by shared history, stories and visual language – American Sign Language. Those who are born deaf or lose their hearing in early childhood (before they learn spoken language) make up about 0.1 percent of the population.  The culturally Deaf base their identity on their use of American Sign Language. Those who are late-deafened, or lose their hearing later in life, brings this sector to about one percent of the population.

People may lose their hearing at any time in their lives, but aging and noise-induced hearing loss are the two main causes. Severity of hearing loss may range from mild to profound.  The hard of hearing’s primary mode of communication is verbal.

Recognizing these fundamental differences in modes of communication is what forms the foundation of our work. Programs and services within Deaf Services are targeted to the Deaf community or those who want to learn how to communicate with the Deaf community; and programs and services within Hearing Services are targeted to those with a hearing loss or at risk of losing their hearing.

OUR MISSION | To bring together Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing Albertans with service and technology options to advance access and opportunity.

OUR VISION | To bring together Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing Albertans with service and technology options to advance access and opportunity.

OUR IMPACT | Hearing loss affects 23% of adult Canadians; we serve 38,000 deaf and deafened Albertans.


  • Continued renovations with new “fish bowl” office, accessible washroom doors and an extraordinary kitchen makeover;
  • Launched “Peer-To-Hear” Pilot program with 9 mentee/mentor matches who met once a week for three months;
  • Launched “Sound Advice Program” to provide more opportunities for people with hearing loss to learn and share information (e.g., Book Club, Colouring Night, Speaker Series…);
  • Launched three-month Emergency Pilot to enable faster response times towards unmet emergency requests;
  • Developed “Extraordinary Technology” to provide more service in small town Alberta via Skype, Facetime and Telehealth” where deaf Albertans contacted us for help with their medical, legal and other types of appointments.

Established in 1961, the Deaf and Hear Alberta has been breaking down barriers to communication for over 50 years. Our work is organized into two distinct program streams:  Deaf Services and Hearing Services.

Deaf Services:

  • Interpreting Services:  provides some of the most qualified ASL interpreters in the province to facilitate communication between Deaf users of ASL and hearing audiences.
  • American Sign Language training:  we offer a range of courses for the public, families, and workplaces.
  • Student Literacy:  qualified tutors provide learning assistance to elementary school children.
  • Counselling:  a qualified psychologist provides counselling services and mental health supports in American Sign Language to Deaf and hard of hearing individuals, children, and families.
  • Deaf Services:  support, counselling, and advocacy on behalf of individuals and families.

Hearing Services:

  • Hearing Loss Prevention:  bringing awareness and education about noise-induced hearing loss.
  • Sound Advice series a series of courses on the care and management of hearing loss and how to mitigate its adverse effects
  • Peer to Hear:  matching trained volunteers with a hard of hearing person at risk of social isolation for counselling, mentoring, and support.
  • Equipment:  Assistive listening and signaling devices for the Deaf or hard of hearing


  • Deaf and Hear Alberta is pleased to introduce the Tom Pinder Educational Scholarship in 2014.  The scholarship will be awarded to a Deaf or hard of hearing individual or family who will apply the funds towards an educational endeavor.

Our donors are people of all ages and from all walks of life. There are many different ways to support Deaf and Hear Alberta. Some choose to make individual donations, others choose to host an event on our behalf and some of our gifts are legacy bequests. All of our supporters share the common belief that giving is vitally important, as our gifts help create a stronger and more caring community. Large or small, your gift will make a difference!

Would you like to make a difference in a senior’s life? We are currently seeking volunteers who would be willing to be a companion to a Deaf senior. Depending on the individual, this could involve a variety of things – visiting them in their home, going shopping together, or even just going for a walk. This is a wonderful opportunity to provide friendship and companionship to a senior who may not be able to participate in the same activities that they used to.

Please note: Due to the nature of this position, volunteers must be fluent in ASL. For more information or to apply for this volunteer position, please contact our Manager of Deaf Services, Cindy Pilz, by email: [email protected]


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Deaf & Hear Alberta (formerly Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services)

Alison Stutz



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