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About Us

At DeafBlind Ontario Services, we believe with a helping hand and supportive touch, individuals who are deafblind can increase their independence on their own terms. DeafBlind Ontario Services is a not-for-profit organization that helps individuals who are deafblind to increase their independence and improve their quality of life through specialized services. With programs across the province, our reach extends into a wide range of communities in Ontario.

Our History

In 1989, a group of parents lobbied the provincial government of Ontario as advocates for their children with deafblindness in an attempt to secure funding for community based supported living programs to commence when the children completed their education. Independent Living Residences for the Deafblind in Ontario (ILRDBO), was born out of this movement; on April 6, 1989 we were incorporated as an not-for-profit organization. Initially there were three homes in York Region with three individuals with congenital deafblindness residing in each location.

Toward the end of 2007, ILRDBO changed its name to DeafBlind Ontario Services.

Founding Members:

  • Gerry & Dorothy Brogan
  • Adrienne & Mike Caruso
  • Lynne Faltash
  • Steven Gaylord
  • Carol & William Hurtick
  • Charles Kelliher
  • Connie Southall
  • Dorothy Wilcox

Mission, Vision and Values


DeafBlind Ontario Services supports individuals who are deafblind to live and thrive within the community.


Enriching lives one touch at a time.

Values Statements

We are:

  1. Passionate
  2. Collaborative
  3. Leaders
  4. Resilient
  5. Limitless

We are Passionate

We are driven to empower the people we support and to celebrate their uniqueness.

We demonstrate being passionate by:

  • Embracing challenges and opportunities with energy and enthusiasm;
  • Extending the reach of the people we support into the community, where they can achieve their goals, dreams and aspirations;
  • Creating and providing unique opportunities to learn and grow; and
  • Motivating and encouraging our co-workers, as well as the people we support, to challenge themselves every day.

We are Collaborative

Engaging others makes us better. Each of us has something to learn and something to teach.

We demonstrate being collaborative by:

  • Fostering partnerships with the people we support, their families, other community resources, government, funders and organizations with similar goals—locally, nationally and around the world;
  • Committing to open communication and transparency when working with each other and our partners; and
  • Supporting each other and seeking input from others for solutions that benefit all.

We are Leaders

We set the standard and promote excellence in our field.

We demonstrate being leaders by:

  • Constantly evolving and striving for excellence in everything we do;
  • Mentoring, educating and encouraging ourselves and others;
  • Generating and being receptive to new ideas;
  • Advocating for people’s rights, beliefs and dreams; and
  • Holding ourselves accountable to the people we support, families, employees, funders and other stakeholders.

We are Resilient

When faced with challenges, we adapt and grow—becoming stronger together.

We demonstrate being resilient by:

  • Providing holistic services that are responsive to the ever-changing needs of individuals living with deafblindness;
  • Being proactive in identifying and addressing circumstances that may present challenges; and
  • Learning from setbacks and being persistent and flexible in our efforts to find creative, workable solutions.

We are Limitless

We believe in endless possibilities.

We demonstrate being limitless by:

  • Being courageous, open-minded and creative; and
  • Empowering each other to go outside the box and achieve goals and dreams.

DeafBlind Ontario Services is a proud member of Deafblind International (open in new tab) and the Deafblind Network of Ontario (open in new tab).

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