The word “community” is defined as a group of people with certain commonalities, residing within a particular area. DeafBlind Ontario Services has programs and support services in remote locations and urban centres in many areas of Ontario.
“Social connectedness and a sense of community means so much to the people we support who have a combination of hearing and vision loss that impacts access to information, communication, and mobility,” said Roxanna Spruyt-Rocks, Chief Executive Officer at DeafBlind Ontario Services.
Over 1% of Canada’s population or approximately 466,420 people are deafblind. In Ontario, an estimated 211,250 individuals are deafblind.
With the right supports in place, like DeafBlind Ontario Services’ team of professional intervenors, the gap between the person with deafblindness and the world around them is bridged.
“Community has new meaning for our organization. As we continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19, our communities have really been a pillar to DeafBlind Ontario Services,” said Roxanna.
“In a time when it is very difficult to secure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), we have received items like face shields, procedure masks, homemade masks, gowns, gloves, disinfectant products, along with donations for PPE. This outpouring of support helps to protect a vulnerable population of Ontarians, along with our essential employees, and the greater community too.”
To date, DeafBlind Ontario Services has received generous donations from several individuals, plus:
- Canadian Tire
- Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto
- Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS)
- Ottawa Community Foundation
- Ottawa Valley Metal Inc.
- Peterborough Humane Society
- SOS Georgina
- Town of Georgina
- United Counties of Prescott and Russell
- Western University
“We are all in it together, taking it day-by-day… And together, we are better,” said Roxanna.
DeafBlind Ontario Services continues to rely on the greater community to secure PPE, along with financial donations during this challenging time.