Helping the deaf, deafened and hard of hearing: Deaf Access and The Canadian Hearing Society introduce 211 services to region
Simcoe County – Deaf Access Simcoe Muskoka and The Canadian Hearing Society has launched a new partnership with 211, the information source to human services in the Simcoe region. Through 211’s TTY line and online live chat, Deaf and the hard of hearing people in Simcoe and the surrounding areas will find it easier to connect with services and support for challenges, such as housing, income, financial assistance, employment and health issues.
“About 23 per cent of the population has some kind of hearing loss. In Simcoe that would mean 98,000 people are Deaf and hard of hearing,” said Louise Gagne, Executive Director, Deaf Access Simcoe Muskoka. “We are excited about joining with 211 and the Canadian Hearing Society to launch these specialized 211 services to this invisible and often marginalized community.”
211’s TTY line (1-888-435-6086) and online chat at www.northsimcoemuskoka.info is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. By using 211, callers can get information on the options available to them for their particular situation. 211’s Information and Referral Specialists can explain how to access services, eligibility requirements, hours, location and more about social, community and government programs serving the community.
“Online chat is another avenue to independence. Younger Deaf and deafened consumers are already comfortable with this service which offers them privacy, compared to other communication relay services,” said Pam Hillier, Executive Director, 211 Central East Region. “By promoting 211 to these consumers, we hope communication and independence opportunities will increase as the Deaf and hard of hearing community navigate the expertise and resources available to all Ontarians.”
Deaf Access Simcoe Muskoka and Canadian Hearing Society have worked with 211 so the Deaf and hard of hearing communities become better aware of the expertise and resources that exist. They have also provided training to 211 staff about communicating with deaf, deafened and hard of hearing consumers.
Deaf Access Simcoe ensures that culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people in Simcoe County have equity and communication access in the community. 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.
211 service is available to residents in Simcoe and Muskoka regions through the 211 Central East Region team in Collingwood. Online chat and TTY is available to all Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people in these communities at 1-888-436-6086 and at www.northsimcoemuskoka.info.
All other residents in these communities can call 2-1-1 to discover services in their community or visit www.211ontario.ca. 211 service is available to 55 per cent of Ontario’s population currently. By end of 2011, more than 80 per cent of Ontarians will be able to call 2-1-1.