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.
OUR RESULTS | 2016:
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.
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]