GBC’s Deaf Learn Now program honoured with national literacy award

Deaf Learn Now home page video screenshot

A tuition-free George Brown College program that promotes skills development, independence and academic success for Deaf and Hard of Hearing adults has won a national literacy award.  

The Deaf Learn Now (DLN) program won the 2022 Council of the Federation Literacy Award as part of Ontario’s e-Channel Team, six organizations, including DLN, dedicated to the advancement of literacy skills. Comprised of Canada’s provincial and territorial premiers, the council recognizes outstanding achievement, innovative practice and excellence in literacy. 

“As the world’s first online adult literacy program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing learners, George Brown College (GBC) is thrilled to be recognized for its impact on our provincial learning community through our Deaf Learn Now (DLN) program,” GBC President Dr. Gervan Fearon said. “We’re grateful for the ongoing support of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development and for its nomination, which made this prestigious award possible.” 

The award announcement coincided with International Literacy Day (September 8). 

“Congratulations to Ontario’s e-Channel Team for this well-deserved award,” Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development said. “Literacy training helps people across Ontario build better lives and earn bigger paycheques for themselves and their families. I want to thank George Brown’s Deaf Learn Now program and Ontario’s e-Channel Team for helping Indigenous, deaf, and francophone learners achieve their goals.” 

We offer the program for free to students 19 and older thanks to funding from the provincial government. Now in its 10th year, DLN provides accessible adult literacy and skills development courses, including academic and career entrance preparation, resume and interview skills, and credentials including the Food Handler’s certificate and WHIMS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System). 

“Throughout the pandemic, our dedicated team provided group and one-on-one counselling to learners whose social communities were limited. We also delivered programming and counselling to meet the unique needs of our learner group, helping to support their journeys into further training, skills development, employment and education,” Susan Toews, Dean, Centre for Preparatory and Liberal Studies, said.