Since our beginning in 1989, we have made it our mission to inspire the spirit and determination of the people we support. With programs across the province, our reach extends into a wide range of communities in Ontario (Locations map).
DeafBlind Ontario Services takes a holistic approach to providing an array of services that are customized to each individual’s unique needs, method of communication, and goals to increase their independence and enrich their life. Residential programs provide accessible, barrier-free, affordable housing and access to support 24/7.
At DeafBlind Ontario Services, we make a difference everyday.
Born premature, Amanda has Cerebral Palsy along with profound hearing loss and very little vision. Although she has some perception of light in one eye, Amanda is deafblind.
As a child, Amanda’s Mother advocated for her to receive essential support through Intervenor Services. Individuals with deafblindness have the capacity to build their life skills, gain independence and contribute to the greater community with the support of professional intervenors.
After graduating, Amanda did not have access to an intervenor until she came to DeafBlind Ontario Services at age 22.
Amanda communicates expressively with the world around her through Signing Exact English (SEE), a system of manual communication that strives to be an exact representation of English vocabulary and grammar. She receives communication through Adapted Interactive Tactual Sign Language (AITSL). AISTL is hand-over-hand sign language, where the person ‘listening’ is feeling and reading the signs with their hands.
When Amanda started receiving Intervenor Services from DeafBlind Ontario Services, her expressive sign vocabulary was limited to two signs, “more” and “finish”.Today, Amanda is able to communicate her choices and be a more active participant in her own life. She currently has an expressive sign vocabulary of 16 signs that is continuing to grow.
“A highlight of my career has been being part of Amanda’s journey. A lot of time, trial and error was dedicated to enhancing her range of communication; seeing it all come together was a huge moment.”
“We never lost sight of realizing Amanda’s full potential. When an individual’s potential is recognized, the possibilities are endless”, said Katherine, an intervenor at DeafBlind Ontario Services.
DeafBlind Ontario Services is unique in how they support our daughter. They are highly skilled, specialized and always looking out for the best interest of our daughter in all aspects of her life. We trust them implicitly with the well being and safety of our daughter and are very grateful to them for the high quality of life they help her to achieve. I cannot imagine where we would be without their support.
For me, their strength lies in making sure they provide a balance of programming that will keep our son motivated and in turn, happy. And in making sure they employ the best people possible.
It is extremely person-centred! The wishes of the people supported are respected. Every 18 months, a meeting is held where the person expresses their hopes and dreams. The employees work very hard to make these things happen.
Having our child not sit on the sidelines looking at everybody else living their lives, but living her own life with the support of someone who understands her limitations and moreover helps her overcome them.