Help on hand for deaf Yukoners

I am writing this letter to congratulate the Yukon government's Workplace Diversity Employment Office, and all of its staff and partners, on the second anniversary of its American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation Project

I am writing this letter to congratulate the Yukon government’s Workplace Diversity Employment Office, and all of its staff and partners, on the second anniversary of its American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation Project. Initiated in August 2012, this project was designed to help meet the communication challenges faced by deaf Yukoners.

This program offers ASL interpretation services, at no charge, to members of the deaf community for a variety of professional, community and personal uses. As a result, this government program has allowed Yukoners to get to know members of the deaf community and allowed that community to take a more active role in a wide variety of activities.

Developed in partnership with the Yukon deaf community, several territorial government departments, the Council of Yukon First Nations, community organizations, and with additional funding support from the federal government, this project has been acknowledged as a groundbreaking effort to assist the deaf community in achieving full citizenship through the removal of communication barriers that do not exist for others.

As a long-time Yukoner and former manager of the Workplace Diversity Employment Office, I am very pleased to be able to acknowledge this ongoing success story. Although currently living in British Columbia as I pursue my education, I have been advised by southern colleagues that this project is being discussed with admiration in other jurisdictions. Perhaps its continued success will serve as a model and justification for the development of similar programs elsewhere.

Again, congratulations to all those who continue to support and be involved in this project. It was my privilege to work with all of those individuals whose efforts have contributed to its success.

Jon Breen

Victoria, B.C.

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