In 1970 Forrest C. Nickerson, a Deaf person, realized his dream to create a Deaf cultural organization dedicated to enhancing the cultural  lives of Deaf people across the country. Today, the Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf (CCSD) represents over 450,000 Canadians and serves many more with its programs, cultural activities and Deaf heritage resources.
Incorporated in 1973 as a non-profit charitable organization funded through private donations, the CCSD preserves, encourages and advances the cultural interests of Canada’s Deaf population. Key areas of concentration are performing arts, language, literature, history, visual arts and heritage resources. CCSD encourages new and developing forms of creativity, research, participation and interests in all areas. It also promotes better understanding between Deaf and hearing adults and children as well as promoting literacy for Deaf children.CCSD is the parent organization of the DEAF CULTURE CENTRE featuring a museum, art gallery, gift shop, research and archives, state-of-the art virtually rich technology highlighting Deaf historical artifacts, Sign Language literature and multimedia production studio. Open to the public and rooted in the Deaf community; it is a celebration of Deaf life for all to enjoy. Set in the culture, arts and entertainment Distillery Historic District in the heart of Old Town Toronto, the centre provides programs on culture, history, visual and performing arts with ongoing workshops, permanent and traveling exhibits, school tours and virtual display.
CCSD supports Deaf children and youth at summer camps by providing positive Deaf role models and awards, grants to promote youth exchange programs, special projects, Deaf Children’s festivals, Youth Canada tournaments, literature and arts production for children, youth and adults. CCSD participates in and promotes the Deaf Canada Conference, held every two years, providing opportunities to meet and participate in educational, cultural and recreational activities – hosted through a provincial bidding process.CCSD has developed a standardized tool known as ASLICE (American Sign Language Instructors of Canada Evaluation) to assess ASL and LSQ skills for instructors of sign language. We have a list of American Sign Language Proficiency Interviewers and Raters (ASLPI) certified by York University in collaboration with CCSD. Preliminary plans are in the works to design an ASL/English dictionary for children accessible via ASL and to design a much needed LSQ dictionary for adults and youth alike.CCSD has produced in collaboration with marblemedia, Inc. featured on TVO with accompanying website in ASL/LSQ, English and French that provides positive Deaf role models, interactions among Deaf and hearing youth and Deaf heritage information.

CCSD also supports DeafTV, the first Canadian broadcast TV program dedicated to the life of Deaf Canadians.

The DEAF CULTURE CENTRE, a project of CCSD, has developed a virtual museum website This state-of- the-art multilingual site offers content in ASL, LSQ, English and French, providing visitors from around the world a virtual view into the Centre’s award-winning Deaf heritage exhibits, archives and multi-media capabilities.

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