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Deaf Access Simcoe Muskoka is a charitable, non-profit organization that works alongside culturally deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people of all ages, their families, and the community throughout the region. We work to increase access to local recreational, educational, employment, developmental, habilitational and social opportunities through direct service provision, advocacy, support and sharing of information.
At Deaf Access we believe that everyone has the right to clear communication, and that with the right tools, techniques, services and attitudes, our community can be fully accessible and inclusive of its deaf and hard of hearing members.
The promotion of the social, emotional, recreational, cultural, educational, and vocational welfare of its deaf and hard of hearing constituents.
Working alongside culturally deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people to achieve equal access to opportunities afforded to their hearing counterparts, Deaf Access addresses the broad social service needs of deaf and hard of hearing people through direct service provision, advocacy, support and dissemination of information regarding deafness to parents, professionals, consumers and the community at large.
Recognizing the diversity of the various members of the deaf and hard of hearing community, Deaf Access Simcoe Muskoka believes firmly in the concept of personal choice, self-determination, and the right to receive unbiased information.
All persons, regardless of hearing loss, language or communication mode, race, religion, gender or age will be respected.
We appreciate each individual’s right to choose how and when they communicate to others about their hearing loss or cultural and linguistic preferences or identity.
In 1984, due to the lack of services in the area for those with hearing loss, Deaf Access opened with the support of a Canada Works grant to offer part-time services to local deaf and hard of hearing residents. Within a short time, funding was received from the local United Way, and later, the Ministry of Health.
Originally named The Huronia Association for the Advancement of the Hearing Impaired, we were commonly known as HHI. In 2005, our agency changed its name to Deaf Access Simcoe Muskoka Inc. as our staff, services and funding expanded to include offices in Barrie, Orillia, Midland and Bracebridge.
Deaf Access continues to be a charitable, non-profit organization that represents the needs of those living with hearing loss in this region. We have a strong team of dedicated staff and are governed by a resourceful volunteer Board of Directors, of which more than 50 % identify as culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened or hard of hearing.