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Saskatchewan Proclaims Deafblind Awareness Week

The Government of Saskatchewan has proclaimed June 7-13, as Deafblind Awareness Week. Individuals are considered deafblind if they have a combined loss of both hearing and vision to the point that neither can be used as a primary source of information gathering and communication.

In this year’s budget, the Ministry of Social Services will be providing $350,000 to the CNIB’s Deaf Blind Community Services and Saskatchewan Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services to increase American Sign Language interpreter services and Deafblind community intervenor services in the province. This funding will significantly increase access to communication supports so people who have communication disabilities have more opportunities for inclusion.

“I am pleased to proclaim Deafblind Awareness Week to raise our understanding and awareness of deafblindness within Saskatchewan,” Social Services Minister Paul Merriman said. “Our government thanks the Saskatchewan chapter of the Canadian Deaf Blind Association for the valuable services and advocacy they provide to those who are deafblind.”

Canadian Deaf Blind Association (CDBA) is a non-profit organization that was formed in 1975 to promote and enhance the well-being of people who are deafblind through service provision, awareness, public education and research. There are various CDBA chapters across Canada, including one in Saskatchewan that was established in 1985.

“At CDBA Saskatchewan, the focus of our programs is on the individuals we support who experience deafblindness and rely on the talents of our Intervention Team,” CDBA Saskatchewan Chapter Executive Director Dana Heinrichs said. “The emphasis is on empowering the individuals to be active and engaged in their homes, workplaces and communities. We continue to strive for the best in providing person-centred supports and the support of the Saskatchewan government, makes achieving this goal possible.”

This proclamation supports the Saskatchewan Disability Strategy by helping to create awareness and understanding of the rights of people with disabilities. Saskatchewan residents and communities that have done work which aligns with the Disability Strategy are encouraged to share their accomplishments using the hashtag #SKDisability.

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