What this program offers – Enhancing Access to Professional Sign Language Interpretation

What this program offers

This funding initiative will be funded through the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities. It aims to support projects that will enhance access to professional sign language interpretation, as there are not enough professional sign language interpreters in Canada. The Deaf community, or people who use sign language as their main method of communication, does not always have access to sign language interpretation. The demand for sign language interpretation is increasing with the Accessible Canada Act, as it requires more programs and services to be accessible.

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Objectives of this call for concepts

The purpose is to fund projects that will:

  • increase access to American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, and
  • increase access to langue des signes québécoise (LSQ) interpretation

This will be through skill development for existing interpreters and training of more interpreters.
Concept application forms will need to meet at least 1 of the following 3 objectives of this call for concepts (CFC):

  • raising awareness about recognized sign language interpretation training programs (bringing people into the interpretation field)
  • increasing the number of trained sign language interpreters that can provide services (increasing the number of graduates)
  • improving the overall competencies of sign language interpreters through the acquisition of additional skills (improving skills of interpreters)

Funding priorities

Additional consideration may be given to concepts that meet 1 or more of the following priorities:

  • supporting Deaf persons in becoming specialist interpreters or sign language instructors
  • supporting the entry of Black, Indigenous and persons of colour into sign language interpretation career pathways
  • supporting the use of LSQ


Here is a list of key terms used within this initiative.

Earning income directly from one's own business, trade or profession rather than as a specified salary or wages from an employer.
Sign language interpreter
A sign language interpreter provides interpretation services in:
  • ASL, or
  • LSQ, and
  • other visual and tactual communication forms used by:
    • individuals who are Deaf
    • hard of hearing, and
    • deaf-blind
They facilitate communication between:
  • persons who are Deaf, or
  • hard of hearing, and
  • those who are hearing
Deaf interpreter
A Deaf interpreter is a specialist who masters:
  • either ASL, or
  • LSQ, and
  • other visual and tactual communication forms
Their experience is shaped by:
  • region
  • culture
  • age
  • literacy, and
  • education
They enable nuanced comprehension in a wide range of visual language and communication forms.
Service provider

A service provider is an organization that provides services, such as:

  • sign language interpretation involving both hearing and Deaf interpreters
  • translation of written text into sign language video formats
  • captioning services for sign language videos, and
  • video remote interpretation
American Sign Language

ASL is the language of most Deaf Canadians. It is a visual language made up of specific gestures (signs), hand shapes and facial expressions. It has its own unique grammatical rules and sentence structure. You can visit the Canadian Hearing Society website to learn more about ASL.

Langue des signes québécoise
LSQ is used mainly by French-speaking Deaf Canadians. LSQ enables users to communicate using a series of specific gestures involving the hands, face and body. It is governed by a unique sentence structure and grammatical rules.
Consistent with the Accessible Canada Act, disability means any impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory impairment, or a functional limitation, whether permanent, temporary or episodic in nature, or evident or not, that, in interaction with a barrier, hinders a person's full and equal participation in society.

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