Students at Ontario deaf schools complain of inadequate education and services

September 3, 2014

The Toronto Star reports that the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth has called for a review of Ontario’s provincial deaf schools, following a number of student complaints. According to the Star, students say that they are not being provided with sufficient courses to prepare them for a university education; others say they have been told by teachers that they are not smart enough to pursue PSE. Students have also complained that some teachers refuse to use American Sign Language (ASL) regularly in school, making it difficult to follow the curriculum; they also claim that senior administrators are not able to effectively communicate in ASL beyond simple greetings. A spokesperson for Ontario’s education minister told the Star that every provincial school for the deaf has at least one administrator who is deaf, and that “every effort is made to have a teacher who is proficient in American Sign Language in each classroom”; but, she noted that a lack of qualified teachers sometimes means hiring non-specialists. Toronto Star