what's in a name?
We may be called the "Deaf" Children's Society, but we work with children with all ranges of hearing including children with unilateral hearing loss and children with cochlear implants. Children that attend our preschool also range in hearing level, from fully hearing to unilateral hearing, moderate hearing, cochlear implants, and profoundly deaf.
for whom does dcs provide services?
DCS provides services and programs to families and caregivers of children who are deaf and hard of hearing, from birth to school entry age. Preschool enrolment is for children who are 30 months to 5 years of age.
We also provide preschool programs for siblings of signing deaf children, and hearing children of deaf adults (CODAs).
what services or programs do you provide?
Details about our programs and services can be found here. DCS provides both 1-1 individual home services as well as group services and programs.
where do you provide services?
All over the lower mainland of British Columbia. Our Outreach program is available to those living in other areas of British Columbia. DCS is currently expanding its group services to other areas of the province. Check back with us soon!
how old does my child have to be to receive services?
Services are provided from birth to age five (or school entry, whichever is first).
is dcs connected to the early hearing program?
Yes. We are one of three agencies in the lower mainland that parents can choose from when considering an early intervention program for their deaf or hard of hearing newborn, infant, toddler or preschooler.
does dcs charge a fee for services?
Most of our programs are partially funded by the Ministry of Children and Family Development. All of our Individual Services and most Group Services, including Speech & Language Pathology, Teacher of the Deaf and Sign Language Instruction are free to families of Deaf children from birth to age 5. There is, however, a cost associated with enrolling your child in our preschool. Contact us for support in completing the Affordable Child Care Benefit to reduce these costs.
who would be providing services to our family?
Use this link to read about our staff.
if we sign up with dcs, do we have to learn sign language?
At the Deaf Children's Society, service provision is based on what the family needs and wants for their child, and what is successful for the family unit. We will support and monitor your child's language development and ensure that language is being acquired and is at age level. Sign language is the most effective way to ensure that your deaf or hard of hearing child acquires language language naturally and ASL can then also be used to support the development of English.
DCS is sensitive to the communication needs of all staff, members of DCS, and the community. When you join DCS and participate in our events and programs, you are likely to see many deaf children, adults and interpreters signing.
if my child is exposed to sign language, will this harm her speech development?
Sign language does not interfere with the acquisition of speech. Speech is only a conduit for communication; it is not language. Helping a child develop early language and communication skills is the most important goal. Language can be acquired through auditory and visual channels. Exposing any child to sign language is never detrimental.
do all the dcs staff use sign language?
when is the right time to teach my child sign language ? how do I know when my child is ready to learn ?
Sign language, like any language, should be taught from birth -the earlier the better. All children are primed and ready for language from the moment they are born !