Dear DCS Families, Community Partners and Deaf Community Members,
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Deaf Children’s Society of B.C. and the children and families we serve, we are reaching out to you to express our grave concerns for the current funding status of Early Intervention and child care programs and services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children from birth to age 5. As invested members of our DCS community, we are hoping you will recognize the urgency in this matter and will support our agency in this cause.
The BC Government and Government of Canada have invested over a billion dollars into early childhood education and yet Early Intervention programs for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children are facing the most severe funding shortages in decades resulting in:
· impending closures to group child care/preschool programs, including Deaf Children's Society Preschool, which is the only Preschool in all of BC that provides American Sign Language as the language of instruction
· severe cuts to individualized Speech-Language Therapy
· severe cuts to individualized Sign Language Instruction for Deaf children and their families
· elimination of all targeted funding for Outreach travel to support children and their families in communities outside of the lower mainland
DCS needs your help! Deaf children, their families, and the Deaf Community need your help !
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank-you.
WHAT CAN I DO? FIRST....SIGN THE PETITION -LINK AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE
The lack of funding from the Ministry of Children & Family Development (MCFD) will impact every single deaf and hard of hearing (d/hh) child receiving services from BC Family Hearing Resource Society (BCF), Children's Hearing & Speech Centre of BC (CHSC), and Deaf Children's Society of BC (DCS)! We need to work together and we need to do it now! If you haven't already, you can do the following...
1) Please write a letter to Government and advocate for services for Deaf signing children. Click on one of the templates below to see a suggested guideline for writing your letter.
2) Request an online meeting with Melissa Mykle from Provincial Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (PDHHS)
3) Request an online meeting with your MLA
-Go to this website and input your postal code to find your MLA
4) Reach out to other parents of d/hh children, make sure they're informed and that they know how to take action. **Currently only DCS is making this knowledge public, but the cuts to programs and services for d/hh children will impact ALL families registered with BCF, CHSC, and DCS!**
5) Post and share on social media
6) Talk to the media (newspapers, television, radio)
7) Go to https://www.10aday.ca/take_action and sign the petition and join the letter writing campaign for $10 a day daycare for ALL children -be sure to highlight the needs of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children in preschool/daycare
8) Contact the Representative for Children and Youth to file a complaint. https://rcybc.ca/get-help-now/contact-us/
9) Contact the Office of the Ombudsperson to explain your concerns and file a formal complaint https://bcombudsperson.ca/complaints/