Frequently Asked Questions

This section will answer some of the questions asked most frequently through the Ask SMD section of this website to help provide a quick-reference starting point for people seeking reliable, well-researched information.

Common questions will be posted according to category, along with answers that have been researched with professionals in related fields.

DISCLAIMER NOTICE: It is important to note that the responses provided by SMD are NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR IN-PERSON PROFESSIONAL CONSULTATION. This is especially true of responses to medical or health-related questions. While SMD will provide general responses based on research conducted with professionals, each person’s situation is unique and you are encouraged to consult with a professional to help you meet your individual needs.

Accessibility FAQs

Q: Who can I contact to discuss accessibility issues or commission an accessibility report?

A: When it comes to Accessibility Consulting, SMD has a long relationship with Brian Everton of AP design for All Inc. He can be reached using the following contact information:

Brian Everton
AP Design For All Inc.
NPO Box 52012
Winnipeg, MB
R2M 5P9
voice: 204.794.8211
fax: 204.237.3730

(Source: SMD Alliance)

Q: What rules am I required to follow when building a ramp to a house?

A: Within Canada there are specific guidelines to follow which are usually based upon the National Building Code of Canada. The current edition in effect is the 1995 publication.

Each of the provinces can either adopt the regulations of the national building code or they can add or remove some of the requirements. It would be best to check with local building authorities to confirm what the applicable rules are for your geographic area. Within Manitoba most areas comply with the requirements set out in the Manitoba Building Code and as such in the areas of ramp design and construction are taken directly from the regulations set out in the National Building Code of Canada 1995. (Source: Brian Everton, BID PIDIM IDC LEED™ - AP Design For All Inc.)

Education - American Sign Language (ASL)

Q. When are ASL courses offered and how are they organized in Winnipeg?

A. There are two types of ASL courses offered: courses that follow the Signing Naturally Curriculum, and courses with their own curriculum (for example the ASL Immersions).

The regular year-round Winnipeg courses that offer the Signing Naturally Curriculum are held during the semesters of September - December; January - April; and April - June. Occasionally courses are offered during the summer.

Courses are 40 hours in length, and run during the evenings or on weekends (for example, 4 hours on a Saturday). Courses are run based on student demand and teacher availability. There are 2 places to take ASL year round:

Red River College
Phone: 204 694 1789 (Voice)

ASL Teaching Services
These courses are held at Deaf Centre Manitoba (DCM), but they are not run by DCM. There is no one in the ASL Teaching Services office during the day, but they do have an answering machine and will reply in the evenings.

Phone: 204 452 5358 Voice and TTY
Fax: 204 475 7657

SMD ASL Immersions – These are one-week programs, held in the summer every year. They run Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. For parents and families attending the Immersion classes, there is a Fun & Sign Recreation program, run by the City of Winnipeg Department of Community Services and SMD, for children 5 to 12 years of age. For more information, contact Sandy Lysachok or Rita Bomak at the Winnipeg phone numbers or email addresses below.

Sandy Lysachok

Rita Bomak
Phone: 204 975 3080 (Voice)
204 975 3083 TTY
1 866 282 8041 (Voice Toll Free)

(Source: SMD)

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

A. 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. SMD's Thompson, Dauphin and Brandon offices offer ASL Immersion programs similar to the Winnipeg program, but on a smaller scale. These courses may be 1 week long, or held over 2 weekends. They will also organize ASL courses that use the Signing Naturally Curriculum. For more information or assistance you may contact:

Cindy Stumme
Phone: 204 726 6157 Voice and TTY
1 800 813 3325 Voice/TTY Toll Free

Cory Rossin
Phone: 204 622 2293 Voice and TTY
1 800 844 2307 Voice/TTY Toll Free

Brenda Davidson
Phone: 204 778 4277 Voice and TTY
1 888 367 0268 Voice/TTY Toll Free

(Source: SMD)

Q. 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?

A. 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.

For more information, contact SMD Services. Phone 975 3010 Voice or 204-975-3083 TTY, and ask for the Supervisor of Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children. (Source: SMD)

SMD Alliance Questions

Q. How can I become a member of SMD Alliance?

A. You can start by calling (204) 975-3018 for more information.

(Source: SMD Alliance)

Q. What does membership in SMD Alliance involve?

A. As a member of SMD Alliance, your level of participation is – for the most part – up to you. You can put in as much time as your schedule and energy allows.

One of the key benefits of being a member is your entitlement to vote at SMD Alliance meetings. With your vote, you can help define the focus and set the priorities for the entire SMD Family of organizations. At the same time, you contribute to the ongoing development of SMD’s vision for “a community that supports the independence, participation and empowerment of people with disabilities.”

(Source: SMD Alliance)

Q. What are the criteria for membership in SMD Alliance?

A. The main criteria for becoming a member of SMD Alliance is that you have to have a direct connection to an SMD service or program as either a consumer or a relative/friend of a consumer. This connection provides SMD Alliance with a unique understanding and perspective on disability issues – the perspective of people with disabilities themselves.

(Source: SMD Alliance)