This is an exciting time to be learning American Sign Language (ASL), working as an ASL – English interpreter in Ontario. Demand for the services provided by those trained in roles exceeds the supply of those able to provide these important services.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA) Opens Doors
In 2005, the provincial government introduced the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) that mandates accessibility standards for all levels of government, private and public sector businesses in Ontario. This legislation has had a tremendous impact on the lives of the Deaf and deafblind because it creates opportunity where there once was very little.
Ongoing Variety in Work
Unlike other industry sectors where the location of work is somewhat predictable, when you are employed to work with members of the Deaf or Deafblind communities, your work as an Interpreter can take you anywhere your clients need to go.
The possibilities are truly endless, but going to work with your client might mean going to a hospital, a bank or a lawyer’s office. Or, your client might want to attend a conference or enroll in a class. Regardless of the location, when you work with and for members of these communities, you assume tremendous responsibility and take on a privileged position in your client’s life as your experience moments of their life as they unfold. Graduates are often self-employed and support consumers across all ages.
And, if you choose to study American Sign Language with us, you can apply your knowledge of both ASL and the Deaf culture to any career in any workplace - opening up doors of communication that were previously closed.
As educational leaders in this sector, we have created a number of key partnerships with organizations that are embedded in these communities. From field placement experiences and employment opportunities to membership on our Program Advisory Committees, our partners support the ongoing development of our programs to ensure that we are delivering graduates who are able to meet the changing needs of the Deaf and deafblind communities.
Some of our Sector Partners include:
- Bob Rumball Canadian Centre of Excellence for the Deaf
- Canadian Hearing Society
- CNIB Foundation
- Deaf Ontario
- Deafblind International
- Deafblind Ontario Services
- Ontario Deaf Foundation
- Sensity Deafblind and Sensory Support Network of Canada
- Silent Voice
- Toronto Sign Language Interpreter Service
To find out how you or your organization can get involved, please contact Zeenat Janmohamed, Chair, School of Deaf and Deafblind Studies.