Deaf and Hard of Hearing

  1. American Sign Language (ASL) Courses

What is ASL?

ASL is a form of sign language developed in the US and used also in English-speaking parts of Canada. It can also be defined as a sign language for the Deaf in which meaning is conveyed by a system of articulated hand gestures and their placement relative to the upper body

Is ASL limited to just the United States and Canada? 

No, ASL is also used in varying degrees in the Philippines, Ghana, Nigeria, Chad, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Zaire, Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Kenya, Madagascar, Benin, Togo, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, and many other places.

Is ASL a universal language?

No, those countries mentioned above also have their own signed languages. ASL is the dominant signed language in North America, plus it is used to some extent in quite a few other countries, but it is certainly not understood by Deaf people everywhere.

Who are our courses for?

Any organization, groups of people or individuals who are interested in wanting to develop or improve their ASL skills. Our staff can provide a range of presentations, workshops, and consultative services to communities and organizations for professional development programs that address such topics as Accessibility, Communications, ASL and Deaf Culture. Each can be tailored to a group’s specific needs.

We have provided courses to:

Why take an ASL course?

  1. Annual ASL Immersion Program

Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer our summer ASL Immersion program and the concurrent Children’s Fun & Sign program for 2019. These programs were tentatively scheduled for July 8 – 12 at the Manitoba School For The Deaf. Our Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services department will be using this time to review our programming and plan for future staffing changes. We will also be preparing for delivery of ASL courses via distance technology (i.e. WebEx) to meet increased demands for these courses throughout the province. We will continue to look at ways to offer ASL courses throughout 2019. 

We know many people enjoy the annual ASL Immersion Program and we want to assure you that we are committed to delivering the program next summer and beyond.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Terry Leslie
Phone: 204-975-3074


I would like to take an ASL course to help me communicate with my Deaf child/relative but I can’t afford to pay for the course. Is there any financial assistance available?

The provincial government offers a subsidy to help parents and other family members pay the registration fees for ASL courses. The subsidy is offered to families whose Deaf or hard of hearing children are 17 years of age and under. The subsidy is also available to families who have hearing children who need ASL to communicate.

I don’t live in Winnipeg. Are there ASL courses in other locations in Manitoba?

Special and regular ASL courses are set up throughout the province based on demand. A school or group may wish to sponsor a course or they may request the assistance of SMD’s offices throughout the province. Instructors travel to various communities from time to time.

For more info about these courses or setting one up in your community, please contact:

Rita Bomak
TTY: 204-975-3083 or
Email: or
Canada VRS: 1-431-8004381

ASL Teaching Services

These courses are held at Deaf Centre Manitoba (DCM). Their website provides information on their course costs, dates and times.

Call or Text: 204-998-7556 
Fax: 204 475 7657

  1. Counselling Services

  1. Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program

Our goal is to assist adults who are Deaf or hard of hearing to find and maintain meaningful employment. Services may include; Counselling, assessment, and support in obtaining financial assistance for job training or educational programs and employment placement.

Click Here for more info on the VR program

  1. Language Program for Deaf and hard of hearing newcomers

This program is delivered at the Deaf Centre Manitoba (DCM) and is offered to newcomers of Canada. It is designed to be culturally sensitive for Deaf or hard of hearing individuals who wish to learn English and/or American Sign Language (ASL) as additional languages. Individual or group classes are multi-level ranging from Literacy to Canadian Language Benchmarks 7. 

  1. ASL Family Subsidy Program

The Province of Manitoba offers a subsidy to help pay for the costs of ASL programming (in-home tutoring, ASL Immersion, ASL courses) for family members who need to learn ASL. Family members who have a child/youth (Deaf or hard of hearing) 17 years of age and under who needs or uses ASL, may be eligible. There is a maximum subsidy of $600/per year, per family. The subsidy can be accessed if there is no other funding (Educational Authority, EIA, CFS, etc.) available.

For more info on anything mentioned above please contact:

Claudine Bach
TTY: 204-975-3083