Tue 11 Aug 2009
Vancouver – Peter Julian (Member of Parliament, Burnaby–New Westminster) was joined by members of the Deaf community as well as key representatives from Deaf service organizations on August 11th at Vancouver Community College to bring attention to the chronic underfunding for BC deaf students seeking post secondary education.
Julian stated “I believe that deaf students from the province of BC should be given the opportunity to join their peers at a university where everyone uses the same language – American Sign Language. Gallaudet University in Washington, DC is the only university in the world that offers 100% accessible and inclusive academic and social post secondary programs for deaf and hard of hearing students. No program of this kind is available anywhere in Canada and to deny this opportunity to deaf and hard of hearing students in BC is unconscionable and wrong-headed”.
Prior to 1998, BC provided funding (Vocational Rehabilitation Services) to post-secondary programs that use American Sign Language as its language of instruction.
“‘Top-up funding as is done in Alberta & Ontario is a practical and necessary option for deaf students to become contributing members of society. It would be more prudent financially to provide these funds so that deaf students could attend Gallaudet University than to fund interpreters at a BC university”, said Julian.