VOICE for Hearing Impaired Children was established in the early ’60s by parents to offer support to other families with children who were deaf and hard of hearing. These Toronto parents wanted their children to be educated alongside their hearing peers in mainstream schools. VOICE chapters have spread throughout Ontario, with associate chapters in other parts of Canada. Today, VOICE’s principle objectives include providing hope and support to parents and inform them that children who are deaf or hard of hearing can learn to listen and speak. In particular, VOICE develops and implements programs and services encompassing parent support, public education, advocacy, and auditory-verbal therapy.
For more than 70 years, the Canadian Hearing Society (CHS) has served people who are culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing. CHS has tried to meet the needs of all the communities it serves. As an advocate, CHS has pressed for accessibility in workplaces, health-care and education. As a service provider, the CHS offers a wide range of services and is the largest Canadian provider of services that remove barriers to communication, advance hearing health, and promote equity for people who are culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing.
Both VOICE and CHS would like to acknowledge the tireless efforts of the following individuals who assisted in the creation of this Guide:
Anita Bernstein, M.Sc. LSLS Cert AVT, Director of Therapy and Training Programs, VOICE for Hearing Impaired Children
Cathy Chovaz, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, King's University College, at The University of Western Ontario
Alice Eriks-Brophy, Ph.D., Graduate Coordinator, Associate Professor, Department of Speech-Language Pathology, University of Toronto
Rebecca Grundy, MSW., RSW, Program Director, Counselling Services, Canadian Hearing Society
Gary Malkowski, M.A., L.H.D., Special Advisor to President, Public Affairs, Canadian Hearing Society
Barbara O’Dea, Ph.D., Barrier-Free Education Initiatives Project, Canadian Hearing Society
Rhonda Quesnel, Psychological Associate
Leah Radziwon, research assistant, Childhood Hearing Loss Laboratory, University of Toronto