FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2007
Contact: Kelly Mackenzie
Provincial Program Manager, Marketing Communications
Tel: (416) 928-2500 Ext. 231
TTY: (416) 964-0023
CHS hosts launch of the Ontario Human Rights Commission new sign language video
Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hearing Society (CHS) hosted the launch yesterday of the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s first ever sign language publication. The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario attended along with the Ontario Human Rights Executive Director, Nancy Austin, CHS Special Advisor to the President, Gary Malkowski, and Wayne Nicholson, President of the Ontario Association of the Deaf.
The new video, available on the Commission’s website at www.ohrc.on.ca, provides a translation of the brochure Disability and the Duty to Accommodate: Your Rights and Responsibilities under Ontario’s Human Rights Code into American Sign Language and la langue des signes québécoise with English and French captioning and audio.
Onley is the first Lieutenant Governor of Ontario with a physical disability and accessibility is one of the on-going mandates he brings to the position. He stresses that, “accessibility is whatever it takes to allow individuals to achieve their full potential, regardless of what their disability might be, regardless of what their circumstances in life might be. My dream is of a province where all citizens with disabilities have the opportunity to achieve that full potential, confident that they have at least as much to contribute to society as any other citizen and that they have the same right to contribute to the province as any other citizen.”
“Disability is the number one ground of discrimination cited in complaints filed at the Commission. While we have done much to raise awareness and advance human rights for persons with disabilities, this video will help make that information more accessible to deaf, deafened and hard of hearing individuals and others,” said Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall. “It’s also an excellent opportunity to show what can be achieved through cooperation and creative thinking.”
CHS Special Advisor to the President, Gary Malkowski, first suggested the idea of a sign language video and provided guidance throughout the process. A public service announcement in sign language and text format is airing on the Toronto Transit Commission’s One Stop Network for three months to promote the video.
“I’m thrilled that the Commission has taken this important step to making their essential services completely accessible to Ontarians who are deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing,” commented Malkowski. “I couldn’t be more excited.”
The Canadian Hearing Society is the leading provider of services, products, and information that remove barriers to communication, advance hearing health, and promote equity for people who are culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing.
For more information on CHS and our programs, visit our website at www.chs.ca