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Canada: Deaf Community

  • By: Katie Moss
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Canada is home to a culturally diverse and geographically dispersed Deaf community. As an officially bilingual nation, it is also home to two different signed languages: American Sign Language (ASL) and Langue des Signes Québécoise (LSQ).

Education for the Deaf Community

Prior to the establishment of schools for Deaf students, most Deaf individuals were isolated and had limited access to a formal education. The first school for the Deaf in Canada was established in Quebec in 1831. Two years after its establishment, Antoine Caron (1813–1847), one of the school’s students, became the first Deaf teacher in Canada. Several other schools designed specifically for the Deaf followed in the late 1800s and early 1890s, including two francophone schools in Montreal: the Institution Catholique des Sourdes-Muettes (for girls) and ...

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