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.
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 deafplanet.com 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 www.deafculturecentre.ca. 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.