Mme Céline Giroux - Collections

Mme Céline Giroux - Collections

OFFICE DES PERSONNES HANDICAPÉES DU QUÉBEC SPRING 2006, VOL. 15, NO. 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS 2 Message from the Director General An exciting challenge ...

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OFFICE DES PERSONNES HANDICAPÉES DU QUÉBEC

SPRING 2006, VOL. 15, NO. 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS 2

Message from the Director General An exciting challenge

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Tribute Goodbye Norbert!

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Focus: Québec Sign Language - Overview - What the OPHQ proposes - Relief and impatience

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Pilot projects For a successful school-to-active-life transition

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Accessibility Barrier-free tourism: a great experience!

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Point of interest The funding of special education services – what do the codes mean?

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Overview - Tools for the transition from school to active life - Screening and diagnosis - A Web site for L'envol - For improved access to museums - New publications

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Letters Homage to Norbert Rodrigue

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Literature review Deafness and Québec Sign Language

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Innovation Documentation Centre - the catalogue is online!

L’intégration welcomes your comments, suggestions or opinions on various topics concerning the integration of persons with disabilities. We may decide to share your viewpoint with our readers. Don’t hesitate to contact us!

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Ms Céline Giroux New Director General of the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec An exciting challenge On December 21, 2005, the Government of Quebec appointed Ms Céline Giroux to the position of Director General of the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec. At the time of her appointment, she held the position of Vice-president of the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse. Ms Giroux took up her official duties on January 9, 2006. She agreed to speak to us about the challenge that she intends to take up and the priorities that she has set for herself. It is with a great deal of enthusiasm that I recently agreed to assume the position of Director General of the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec. I sincerely believe that respect for each person’s rights is the key to an egalitarian society where each person has their place. Defending human rights has always been of vital importance to me and my path to date, both personal and professional, has naturally led me towards this sector. By assuming the chairmanship of the OPHQ, I intend to put to good use the experience I have acquired and the expertise I have developed during my professional life in order to further issues that will have a major impact on the school, workplace and social integration of persons with disabilities. A lawyer by training, my first years of practice as a legal advisor and subsequently as assistant attorney general1 taught me a great deal, especially concerning childhood injuries and the disastrous consequences they have throughout a person’s lifetime, on the stress levels of so many young people, on the environments conducive to delinquency, on the emphasis that must be placed on prevention, on specialized care and social rehabilitation. When I was appointed vice-president of the Commission de protection des droits de la jeunesse in 1990, my task was to promote and defend the rights of children and, from this perspective, to analyze the services that were provided to them and propose changes both to the system and on a case-by-case basis. A dearth of specialized resources, the absence of coordination among the health services, psychological care and rehabilitation sectors as well as the lack of joint action among the various resource people were just some of the recurring problems. The systemic approach, with which I am very familiar, is exactly the approach that the OPHQ must use in order to address and resolve the various problems linked to the school, workplace and social integration of persons with disabilities. In 1995, when the Commission des droits de la personne and the Commission de protection des droits de la jeunesse were merged, my task was to apply the Québec Charter of human rights and freedoms, particularly section 10, which forbids discrimination based on disability. Indeed, the OPHQ and the Commission are two organizations that have a great deal in common, both in terms of powers and operation as well as means of action. During my ten years as vice-president of the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (CDPDJ), I was called to make rulings on issues concerning the rights of persons with disabilities, including both children and adults. Many of these issues set legal precedents. In addition, during the parliamentary commission on Bill 56, the CDPDJ lobbied

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to have persons with disabilities included as a target group among those contemplated by the Act respecting equal access to employment in public bodies. It also expressed its concern as to the implementation of follow-up mechanisms for the application of policies regarding access to documents and services offered to the public. These two concerns are now an integral part of the Act. The Act to secure handicapped persons in the exercise of their rights with a view to achieving social, school and workplace integration has, in my opinion, a high potential for results. This Act is extremely well drafted in that it sets out the means of achieving its aims: it contains specific requirements, defines the roles and responsibilities of each player and sets out a timetable. It even specifies the terms and conditions for reviewing its own implementation within a predetermined period. The OPHQ, as the government’s representative, plays a decisive role in the implementation of this Act. It appears essential to me that the OPHQ exercise leadership in rallying all social, associative and governmental players in order to achieve the objectives set by the legislator. In addition, the Act confers new responsibilities on the OPHQ, giving it stronger influence over the Québec government’s policies, programs and legislation. It must analyze and document the situations experienced by persons with disabilities and make recommendations. The OPHQ also has an important role to play by participating in and fostering joint action at the local, regional and provincial levels. For example, for a number of years now, it has participated actively in several interministerial and social development initiatives. This is a role that the OPHQ must not only continue to play but also accentuate, because it is the best way to ensure that our concerns regarding persons with disabilities become cornerstones of social development in all sectors. I am aware that several sectors are calling for decisive action to ensure the full-fledged integration of persons with disabilities into society. The improvement of home support services, for example, is an important societal challenge that must be met, especially since the number of persons requiring these services will be increasing as the population ages. Support for natural caregivers is also a key sector that requires improvements because it is often thanks to these people that a person can remain in his or her home environment and develop freely. The integration and continued employment of persons with disabilities is also one of our concerns, because personal self-esteem and the feeling of contributing to building society are largely dependent thereon. In fact, the Act has recognized the importance of taking action in this area because it entrusts the Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity with the responsibility of drafting a strategy of integration and continued employment, coordinating it and ensuring its follow-up and evaluation. There is also the issue of fair provision. Although a first step has been taken, continued action in this area calls for active participation from all players concerned in order to provide the government with solutions that will offset the injustice often experienced by persons with disabilities. This is another major challenge for social development in Québec. The situation of women with disabilities also calls for specific attention. Statistics show that they are particularly disadvantaged, not only as compared to women without disabilities but also to men with disabilities. Ms Diane Lavallée, president of the Conseil du statut de la femme, has also called for our collaboration in conducting a study of women with disabilities in Québec and finding solutions to the problems with which they are confronted. And I am very pleased to consent to her request.

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I have come to the OPHQ at a landmark moment because we have recently celebrated the first anniversary of the Act’s enforcement. In the past year, the OPHQ has given impetus to the production of action plans by supporting the government departments, agencies and municipalities concerned. A large number of them have met their obligations and the production of these series of action plans will be attentively studied and recommendations made by the Minister, as applicable. This will certainly be one of my priorities during my first year at the OPHQ. I feel that it is essential to ensure that this process is well under way in order to guarantee, in both the short and the long terms, the positive effects it will have on the social inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities. The updating of the overall policy On Equal Terms will be another of these priorities, mobilizing the efforts of the OPHQ as of this year. Scheduled for the end of 2007, this update is of capital importance, because the overall policy is an instrument of social accountability that will allow for the establishment of policy directions that will act as a framework for governmental actions and set action objectives for government departments and agencies. We will make the necessary efforts, but we need to be able to count on the contribution of all of our partners as well. The implementation of the Act is a major challenge, I am well aware, but an exciting one. Making progress calls for efforts of all kinds. I know, because I have met with most of the members of the OPHQ staff, that I can count on a confident, dynamic and devoted team. I am convinced that the OPHQ will take up this challenge with brio, supported by its governing board and new chairperson. The legacy of my predecessors, including Mr Norbert Rodrigue, to whom I pay tribute, the OPHQ is a competent, efficient institution. I am also aware that we will not be able to achieve our objectives alone; a collective effort is required. In this regard, the support and joint action of all partners are essential. Therefore, I would like to assure you of my commitment and my availability to work with you all, especially the disability associations with whom we share the same objectives and the same desire to succeed. The Act is in force, and like you, it is important to me that it get results. Now it is up to us to translate it into concrete action and take up the formidable challenge of the social inclusion of persons with disabilities. I would like to conclude on a personal note. It is often said that there is no such thing as chance. When I was studying law at Université Laval, I was fortunate enough to share an apartment for three years with a person with a disability. However, at the time, I had no idea that my career path would lead me to this position as director general of the OPHQ. This chapter of my life left its mark on me and I am convinced that it will also be very useful in my new duties. Céline Giroux 1

More commonly known as Crown prosecutor.

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Goodbye Norbert! L’intégration regrets to announce that Norbert Rodrigue, director general of the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec, stepped down on January 6. Appointed in February 1999, he spent nearly seven years as chairperson and director general of the OPHQ. This eminent Quebecer left a mark on his era by making social development the focal point of his working life. He was president of the Confederation of National Trade Unions from 1976 to 1982, member of the Rochon Commission on health and social services, and president of the Conseil de la santé et du bien-être from 1995 to 1998. The achievement that was undoubtedly dearest to his heart during his term of office at the OPHQ was certainly supporting the government in its adoption in December 2004 of the bill overhauling the Act to secure the handicapped in the exercise of their rights, which dated back to 1978. During his last year in office, he was present throughout Québec to teach people about the amendments made to the Act and promote its implementation. We will remember him as a good, kind man who was totally dedicated to the causes that he held dear, one of which was the social inclusion of persons with disabilities. We hope that he will find an area in which he can continue acting on his convictions and where he can put his experience and his positive human qualities to good use in serving Québec society.

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FOCUS Québec Sign Language Overview For many years, the hearing-impaired community of Québec has been calling for the recognition of Québec Sign Language (QSL), in particular as a language of instruction. In 2003, the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec was called upon to support the Deaf community in its effort to obtain this recognition. Thus, it met with the Société culturelle québécoise des sourds (SCQS) and the Centre québécois de la déficience auditive (CQDA). The OPHQ proposed an approach in two phases, the first of which consisted in documenting the situation of QSL in schools and the second of which was implementing a joint action process among all the partners concerned by this issue. The first phase was achieved on the occasion of the launch, in December 2005, of the document entitled État de la situation sur la langue des signes québécoise en enseignement, published by the OPHQ in conjunction with the SCQS. This report, based on a rigorous research process,1 provides an overview of the schooling of children and students with hearing impairments. It also proposes a number of solutions that could assist the participants in their joint action process. L’intégration has summarized the highlights for you below. Recognition A review of the literature shows that various stances have been taken on the recognition of QSL. They range from its recognition as a primary language of instruction and the implementation of a government policy on access to interpreting services, to the imposition of sign language for all Deaf persons or those who do not use lip-reading, to the recognition of the rights of persons with hearing impairments and the claims they have made to the State. These stances are reflected in the legislation adopted by different countries. Several subtleties must be taken into account when considering the status of sign language in these countries. For example, Sweden, which was the first country to pass legislation in this regard, adopted in 1981 a law officially recognizing sign language and ruling that persons with hearing impairments must be bilingual in order to communicate among themselves and with society in general. In 2003, Belgium passed a decree on the recognition of Belgian French sign language, but it does not specify that it should become a compulsory language of instruction. While recognizing the importance of developing sign language, other forms of instruction, whether sign-based or oral, are not excluded. This position is very similar to that adopted by France and certain Canadian provinces, including Ontario. Communication methods Persons with hearing impairments have many possible ways of communicating. The report lists the different communication methods used by Deaf persons. Readers learn that signed French is based on a linear structure like spoken French, whereas the structure of QSL is incompatible with spoken French, since the order of the words is different. Cued speech is based on lip-reading and uses gestures to clarify what is being said. Pidgin is the use of two communication methods, for example, a mix of rudimentary signed French and QSL, or a mix of French and American sign language.

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The lip-reading approach, the most widespread in instruction in Québec, consists in teaching speech to Deaf people using their residual hearing. There are two trends in lip-reading: that which does not use sign language at all, and that for which cued speech is essential to learning the spoken language. Finally, total communication is characterized by the possible inclusion of all of these methods, whether based on signing or lip-reading, and posits that Deaf people should be able to express themselves using the method that best suits them. The Québec context In Québec, up until the middle of the 20th century, there were few developments in the area of the education of Deaf persons, as the report points out. With the advent of the Quiet Revolution, changes began to be made. For example, the government became responsible for schooling all children, including Deaf children. Given that mainstreaming was the favorite approach, the method of total communication was used in the instruction given to Deaf children, indicating a certain openness to sign-based approaches. However, signed French was mostly used for instruction. It was not until the 1980s and 1990s that the use of QSL became more widespread. A dictionary containing 800 words was published in 1981, and the first teaching manuals in 1982. A second dictionary containing 1,700 words was subsequently published in 1985, QSL began to be taught at the Université du Québec à Montréal, and a certificate in visual interpretation was created in 1990. Finally, since 1996, the Cégep du Vieux-Montréal has offered a certificate in communication and deafness. In the meantime, six interpreting services have been created in various regions of Québec. A language, a culture A fact worthy of note: the report points out that according to research, sign languages are actually languages in themselves. In this regard, QSL is thus a separate language from French, which means that a Deaf person who knows both QSL and written French is considered bilingual. Language is inseparable from culture. This means that many are quick to draw parallels between the recognition of sign language and the entire issue of the Deaf culture. The protagonists of this movement claim to be the advocates of a value system and a culture in their own right, in which deafness is considered an element of identity and a disability. Deaf people who use sign language and those who are hearing-impaired are not targeted by this message, as shown by the debates concerning the terms used. Thus, the word “Deaf” with a capital D refers to a person who expresses himself using sign language and who identifies with the Deaf culture and the Deaf community. The same word, written without a capital, refers simply to a person who cannot hear. The partisans of Deaf culture insist strongly on transmitting their culture as a complement to sign language, whence the importance of a bilingual-bicultural education. However, the report underlines the divergences in opinion of the organizations that represent Deaf persons on the issue of Deaf culture. Observations One of the main observations that emerge from reading the report and from the interviews carried out is the decisive role played by early intervention. Of great importance to psychological, conceptual, linguistic and social development of Deaf children, early intervention is not effective unless it is accompanied by early screening for deafness.

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The report also highlights the low success rate in the schooling of Deaf persons not only in Québec, but throughout the world, whether they use sign language or lip-reading. This low success rate is mainly due to reading difficulties. According to a study conducted in Québec on 56 Deaf students aged between 13 and 19, it has been observed that several of them had trouble mastering written language. The study indicated that it was highly unlikely that Deaf children could become competent in writing by the end of their school years. However, a project conducted at the École Gadbois in 1998 and 1999 showed that by devoting time to learning and mastering QSL as a first language, a large number of Deaf students successfully learned French as second language. Because a knowledge of sign language is not innate, it can be observed that QSL must be taught in order to ensure the cognitive development of learners and the full mastery of this language. In addition, more and more resource people recognize the importance of making links with the lip-reading approach. An approach may take precedence over another one without being exclusive. The report also points out major regional discrepancies among the instructional approaches used with Deaf students. Thus, in remote regions, there are no specialized services, and Deaf students are integrated into regular classes. Their schooling is thus subject to the teaching trends that prevail in the region, which are generally lip-reading or signed French. The parents of Deaf children are regrettably ill informed as to the various instructional approaches used and the importance of their role in their child’s schooling. In this respect, parental competence must be developed and recognized. Another point that emerges is the importance of training school staff, particularly interpreters. Training needs to be better adapted to the needs of Deaf students. Thus, students who attend CEGEP and university do not require the same level of interpretation as do students in elementary or secondary school. Undoubtedly the most important observation is that the offer of services must be adapted to the needs of Deaf children and students. There is no one-fits-all formula, since each child is different and has special needs. By Micheline Thibault 1

This overview was compiled thanks to a review of the literature and interviews conducted with a number of representatives (specialized schools, school boards, CEGEPs, associations for the Deaf, sign-language interpreting programs) and with university researchers working in the field of communication and teaching methods for Deaf people.

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FOCUS Québec Sign Language What the OPHQ proposes Further to the observations set out in its report, the OPHQ has suggested solutions as to the recognition of QSL as a language of instruction. These solutions will help fuel the reflection of the participants in the discussion table. The overview provided in the report should, according to the OPHQ, provide a reference framework for these discussions. The work of this discussion table should lead to the drafting of orientations, the identification of objectives and the means required to achieve them in order to better meet the needs of Deaf children and students. L’intégration presents the ten solutions that will be submitted to the discussion table for reflection. 1The Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux and the service networks that come under its authority should implement measures to promote neonatal screening for deafness and ensure medical supervision to monitor the appearance of deafness in the child. 2The health and social services network and associations for the hearing-impaired should provide access to psychological support services for parents and information on the various resources that exist to ensure the psychological and cognitive development of their child. 3The health and social services network should provide by various means, particularly through rehabilitation centres, early cognitive stimulation services to Deaf children, thereby enabling them to develop their vocabulary, learn QSL where applicable and acquire the knowledge needed for their integration into regular schools. 4Following the principles of the recognition of parental competence, the respect of their needs and their choices, parents should be involved in organizing the services provided to their children, especially as concerns individualized education plans and service programs. School services 5Québec Sign Language should be recognized as language of instruction. The status conferred on Québec Sign Language should not only be declaratory; it should also commit the government to offering instructional services in Québec Sign Language, given that these services are indispensable for certain Deaf students. In this capacity, the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS) should provide a framework for the delivery of educational services in QSL, and the school network should organize these services accordingly. 6The school boards, which are responsible for the organization of educational services, should be accountable for the structuring of the services offered in Québec Sign Language and a follow-up should be done in this regard by the MELS. 7All school boards should meet the need for Québec Sign Language expressed by Deaf students for whom it has been established that communication in sign language is necessary for their development, as part of school and extracurricular services. 9

8For Deaf students who take training in QSL, the bilingual approach should be used to enable them to improve their written French. In regions that offer bilingual instruction services in the immediate vicinity, students should attend a specialized school that offers these services until their knowledge of French has been evaluated as being at the appropriate level. For students who attend a regular school in the regions, basic training, during the school year, could be given in the presence of a qualified interpreter. Remedial training in French (adaptation of bilingual instruction) could be offered in a major urban centre at certain periods. Given the resources on site, a bilingual instruction service could also be set up in specialized schools in Trois-Rivières and in Québec City. Complementary services 9Training in sign language should also be offered to students and children who are receiving instruction essentially in lip-reading and who wish to become part of the Deaf community by communicating with Deaf persons who express themselves in sign language. They could thus take part in group exchanges of Deaf persons. Interpreting services 10To ensure the quality of interpreting and access to interpreting services in the regions, training in sign-language interpreting and lip-reading should be made available. Training of interpreters should also be standardized in order to avoid regional discrepancies. For this purpose, a working group mandated to develop adequate, uniform training, could be made up of university, CEGEP and disability association representatives. The interpreters who work in a school environment should all be competent and versatile. They should be familiar with all methods of communication in order to meet the needs of children and students.

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FOCUS Québec Sign Language Relief and impatience To find out their reactions and expectations further to the publication of the report on the status of Québec Sign Language, L’intégration met with two organizations who were at the origin of this initiative, namely, the Société culturelle québécoise des Sourds (SCQS) and the Centre québécois de la déficience auditive (CQDA).1 Both organizations were quick to express their pleasure that the first phase of this process had been completed. Ms Julie Laroche, responsible for this issue at the SCQS, who closely followed the entire research process, admitted her satisfaction. “The process was long but we finally have concrete material, and I can see that we haven’t worked for nothing.” The president of the CQDA, Mr Gilles Boucher, found that the document was well written and that the various specifics of deafness are well explained. The person in charge of QSL for the organization, Ms Chantal Giroux, added that the Deaf community has long been aware of the content and the observations made in the report, but she admits that the document may be useful to the government to help it become aware of the situation of Deaf persons. However, Ms Laroche regrets that the report does not contain specific statistics on Deaf persons who use sign language,2 but merely approximations. “I think it’s a shame, because including accurate statistics would have had more impact on government authorities.” Mr Boucher expressed his concern as follows. “The report provides a lot of information on the various forms of communication, and I’m worried that it will confuse the government and jeopardize the recognition of QSL.” Martin Bergevin, director general of the CQDA, points out in this regard that there are two types of communication: signing and lip-reading. “Our organization’s stand has always been very clear: when it comes to sign language, we use QSL, period.” The organization does not recognize cued speech or signed French because, he says, these types of communication have been defined or adopted by hearing persons in the school boards. He adds that the CQDA considers both types of communication on an equal footing, and stresses the need to inform parents. In his opinion, and this coincides with one of the solutions proposed, parents must see the positive and negative aspects of both types of communication in order to make an informed decision. Ms Laroche explains that lip-reading has long been preferred by the schools, partly because of the ambiguity in the definition of sign language. There is no standard for QSL, she explains. “From one classroom to another, children may use other forms of communication, such as signed French, pidgin, or cued speech. This explains the children’s school problems, and it is also what incites parents to have their children adopt lip-reading.” When deafness is diagnosed in a child, Martin Bergevin decries the “quick-fix” reflex of the medical community. In his opinion, other options are disregarded in favour of cochlear implants and hearing aids, and learning QSL is not considered until all other approaches have failed. Julie Laroche adds that these technologies, due to the many hours of pronunciation exercises they require, impede the natural development of children between ages of 0 and 5 through games or contacts with other children. “The good thing about sign language is that children acquire vocabulary more rapidly. Our position at the SCQS is that children should be bilingual, that is, they should master QSL first and then learn French.” She explains that QSL is a complete language in itself with its own vocabulary, grammar and, in terms of concepts, that it is easier to assimilate for a Deaf child. “We have noticed that when sign language is 11

properly learned, it is much easier for children to learn French. The severely hearing-impaired have greater difficulty with lip-reading and experience a great deal of frustration in this regard.” She feels that proper information must be given to hearing parents, since their children often do not have access to sign language. Gilles Boucher agrees. “The parents desperately want their child to hear, but they must be informed about the choices they have to make and the possible consequences on their children.” In his opinion, it is important to develop tools that enable parents to see Deaf people who use sign language and can tell them about their development. Mr Bergevin points out that it’s not because a person has an implant that they turn into a hearing person overnight. He feels that it is important to offer QSL courses to people who have implants as well as to those who use lip-reading. According to Ms Laroche, of the SCQS, implants are now in style, and before that, lip-reading was all the rage. Sign language has been shelved, in a sense, and Deaf people feel that this is dangerous. The report shows that there are other choices besides implants, something that is very important. Among the observations in the report, Ms Laroche points out the problem of screening, which is not done until the child is two or three years old. By the time the parents react to the shock of the diagnosis, the child is already three or four years old and is not ready to enter school. She stresses the importance of informing parents of the existing resources and of making them a part of the process. “It should not only be a matter for professionals,” she states. In the school community, Julie Laroche, who is a teacher at the École Lucien-Pagé, observes flaws in the way students express themselves in QSL. Although these flaws are due to many factors, she decries among other things the lack of competence of certain teachers. “People have a tendency to hire hearing persons, whereas many Deaf people would be very competent in QSL, but do not have a degree.” She admits that if instruction in QSL is recognized and offered throughout Québec, there could be a lack of resources, especially in the regions. Martin Bergevin, however, is not worried. “There are already qualified Deaf teachers, and if we open the door to QSL, many Deaf people will also want to become qualified.” Ms Giroux adds that Deaf people in the big cities will want to support people in the regions and be willing to move. The problem, she says, is not insurmountable. The same is true for teaching materials, points out Julie Laroche. Other countries, such as France for example, have created their own material, but it cannot be used here because French sign language is different from QSL. There is thus work to be done. In terms of specialists, she says that the need should be reviewed. To identify and correct the errors made by Deaf students, she considers that Deaf linguists would be more useful than speech therapists, whose specialty is more in the area of words. “We’re still in the old mindset and we have to change it,” she insists. In her opinion, these linguists could also evaluate interpreters following their training to ensure the quality of their work. “Currently, these evaluations are done informally among Deaf persons themselves, but it’s not a very reliable method.” Mr Bergevin gives the example of the United States, where standards for the quality of American Sign Language are very stringent. Chantal Giroux believes that especially in schools, it is very important to have high standards of competence because the education of the children depends on it. Expectations All agree on the fact that progress still needs to be made. “The report has been tabled but now the discussion table must begin, and this must not be delayed,” stresses Ms Giroux. One fact

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that both organizations agree on and that is cause for concern in the community is the representation of Deaf persons on this discussion table. “There must be a majority of Deaf persons around that table,” says Ms Laroche of the SCQS. The president of the CQDA, Gilles Boucher, also points out that the recognition of QSL as a language of instruction by the government must be accompanied by the resources required to train interpreters and teachers and create programs and educational materials. Both the SCQS and the CQDA fear that financial investments will be insufficient. Martin Bergevin would also like to see a communication mechanism developed to keep organizations for Deaf persons informed of the progress of the discussion table’s work. The solutions proposed in the report are compatible with the position of the CQDA, says Mr Bergevin. “We are pleased with what has been proposed, but now we would like to see things advance. We don’t want another generation of Deaf people to be sacrificed.” Julie Laroche is of the same opinion. However, as she points out, “If we apply the solutions proposed, we’ll see a new generation of Deaf people emerge and we’ll be able to work on other aspects, such as equal opportunity in the workplace.” And Chantal Giroux concludes by saying, “The recognition of QSL will have a widespread impact, not only in the field of education, but also on the quality of life of Deaf persons.” By Micheline Thibault 1

Given that this interview was conducted soon after the report was made public, the CQDA’s board of directors had not yet met in order to adopt an official position on the report. 2 There are discrepancies in the statistics concerning the number of Deaf persons who use QSL. (Note from the editor)

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PILOT PROJECTS A successful transition from school to active life Once they have finished school, are students with disabilities prepared for their transition to active life? Not always. For this reason, for the past few years, a number of pilot projects have been ongoing in various communities to ensure closer linkage between services and better equip young people to pursue their dreams. A number of observations have been made. According to a survey conducted in 1997 by the Ministère de l’Éducation du Québec (MEQ),1 today the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS), only 27% of disabled young people find a job in the year after having left secondary school, whereas 42.4% of young people without a diploma (dropouts) had a job one year after having left school. It should also be noted that of the 27% of disabled young people with a job, three quarters of them had received assistance in finding it. In addition, according to a study commissioned by the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec, there is little joint action among the schools and partners who support persons with disabilities in their everyday and professional lives, and this must be made a priority.2 Based on a study of some fifteen pilot projects carried out in Québec, a working committee coordinated by the OPHQ reconfirmed this observation in 2003, underlining that there is no linkage between the various resources. The reports states that the school environment meets the training needs of young people until the age of 21, and that the rehabilitation sector and continued employment resources, for the most part, do not kick in until young people leave school. As pointed out by Johanne Savoie, resource person for the project Transition école vie active for the Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec regions, “If we use a silo approach, the risk is that contradictory objectives will be set.” This means that a veritable policy of joint action and dialogue among the partners is needed. Although individual experiments have tested certain models and shown the positive aspects thereof, it is now time to sum up the results in order to generalize these practices at the provincial level. Enriching, decisive experiences In Québec, a number of pilot projects have taken place over the past few years, for the purpose of better planning and coordinating the transition of persons with disabilities from school to active life. The project entitled Plan intégré de continuité (Integrated Continuity Plan, or PIC),5 devised in June 1998 by the partners of the Table de concertation en déficience intellectuelle de l’Est de Montréal, has inspired numerous other projects throughout Québec, notably in the Côte-Nord and Estrie regions. This project was tested for three years on sixteen students aged 18 and over with moderate to severe intellectual impairments. The PIC is designed to empower young people in three phases, namely, by having the student define his life project in terms of social and career goals, develop the skills required to carry it out, and, finally, referring him to the appropriate employment or services. The PIC was incorporated into the individualized education plan and coordinated with the interventions of other partners by developing alternative measures as needed and carrying out periodical review and follow-up. Further to the pilot project PIC which was completed in 2002, the project Continuum plus, under the authority of Action main-d’œuvre, obtained in 2003 a testing subsidy from the OPHQ for a two-year period. Action main-d’œuvre is a specialized manpower service

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targeted specifically at persons with mild intellectual impairments, and this is the clientele that was targeted by the Continuum plus project, the goal of which was to broaden the transition process inspired by the PIC project. The aim was to create a partnership with the students and then to ensure the continuity of the service. The approach of Continuum plus was to plan and standardize the interventions of the various partners in order to facilitate the transition from school to work of young adult graduates who were enrolled in the Insertion sociale et professionnelle des jeunes (ISPJ) and Insertion sociale et préparation au marché du travail (ISPMT) programs that are offered in regular secondary schools. Thus the goal of the project was to optimize their chances of entering the labour market once their schooling was completed. Once its project was accepted, Action main-d’œuvre carried out its project on 22 young people from four school boards, namely the Pointe-de-l’Île school board with the École Antoine-de-St-Exupéry, the Montreal school board with the École Pierre-Dupuis, the LesterB.-Pearson School Board with Vanier College, and the Marguerite-Bourgeoys school board with the École secondaire Cavelier-de-Lasalle. Ten of these young people are still employed thanks to this project, and as coordinator Carole Gravel points out, it is a good project because it is very rewarding for the clientele and avoids a waste of time. In the report submitted by the organization to the OPHQ, it is stated that persons with intellectual impairments who use the services of specialized manpower services have achieved an employment rate of approximately 50% and a job retention rate of some 75%.6 This is due to the fact that for several years now, specialized manpower services have offered a range of programs and services intended for persons who have a severely limited capacity for employment. Funding for the Continuum project ended in March 2005, and the organization is currently seeking other means of financial support in order to pursue the project on a permanent basis. Following your dreams In April 2004, another project, entitled Transition école vie active (TÉVA), was set up by a resource person tasked by the regional branch of special education and student services of the MELS for the Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec regions. This project was intended for all secondary students with a disability, regardless of the nature thereof. Since the project was set up, 14 schools have applied the transition process, with over 70 students benefiting therefrom. The aim of the process is to plan and coordinate a number of activities to assist the student in carrying out his post-secondary plans, mainly in terms of his social and professional integration, his social network, his recreational activities, his participation in the community, the pursuit of his studies and his departure from the family home. This process is part of the individualized education plans devised by Québec schools over the past fifteen years, as set out in section 96.14 of the Education Act. To convince partners in the field to adopt the TÉVA project, Johanne Savoie, resource person for the project, argues: “To help a young person make his dreams come true, the individualized education plan must be examined differently in order to obtain a long-term vision.” In her opinion, the project also remedies certain problems due to the fact that schools are often unfamiliar with the partners in their regions and therefore do not always know where to direct the student once he or she has finished his schooling. In addition, to promote the process, support its implementation in the school environment, counter the problem of staff turn-over and ensure its sustainability, the resource person of the TÉVA project offers training

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in the regions once a year, local training sessions on request, and consulting services. The implementation project will end in June 2006, and recommendations will be tabled to ensure that the project continues. One of the 2006 priorities of the Agreement for the complementarity of services between health and social services network and the education network, signed by the MELS and the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, is the planning of the school-to-active-life transition by first drafting a status report on the problems of continuity and linkage between the two networks. In addition, the Fédération des commissions scolaires du Québec will give a workshop on this transition process during its symposium on special education entitled Réussir à travers nos différences, which will be held May 11 and 12 at the Centre des congrès de Québec. As Johanne Savoie points out, “There is no magic formula. Everything depends on the culture of the community, the human and material resources available and the reality of the environment.” With a bit of goodwill from the authorities and government departments concerned, the school-to-active-life transition of disabled young people can be a success. The secret is to work together in partnership. In its strategic plan for 2005 to 2008, the OPHQ has made provision for various projects involving the implementation of a transition process from school to work or active life. By Arielle Hudon-Fortier 1

Ministère de l’Éducation du Québec, L’insertion sociale et l’intégration socioprofessionnelle des jeunes handicapés, September 1997, 133 pages. 2 Jacques Pelletier, L’intégration au travail des personnes handicapées soutenues par les établissements sociosanitaires, Office des personnes handicapées du Québec, March 1998, p. 31. 3 This committee was made up of representatives of disability associations, the Comité d’adaptation de main-d’œuvre pour personnes handicapées (CAMO), the Ministère de l’Éducation du Québec, the Ministère de l’Emploi, de la Solidarité sociale et de la Famille and the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux. 4 Pierre Berger, La transition de l’école à la vie active. Rapport du comité de travail sur l’implantation d’une pratique de la planification de la transition au Québec, July 2003, p. 5. 5 For more information on this topic, see the article published in L’intégration, Vol. 12, no. 1, October 2002, p. 6-11. 6 Continuum plus, Rapport final. Bilan du projet et recommandations, p. 6.

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ACCESSIBILITY Barrier-free tourism: a great experience! Québec City, which will soon be celebrating its 400th anniversary, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was ranked the sixth most beautiful destination in the world by the March 2004 edition of the National Geographic Traveler. But, for tourists in wheelchairs, this historical city presents a major challenge. Eight people with different disabilities assessed the accessibility of certain tour circuits in Québec City. The origin of the project The idea of assessing the adaptation of tour circuits in Old Québec for persons with disabilities, launched by Mr Henri Bergeron, regional policy advisor with the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec, has mushroomed, and the Comité d’action des personnes vivant des situations de handicap (CAPVISH) has agreed to pilot the project. In addition to the OPHQ, there are several partners: Human Resources and Social Development Canada, the Youth Forum of the Québec City region, Emploi Québec, the regional conference of elected officers, the Réseau de transport de la capitale, La Croisée and Sphère-Québec. All of these organizations contributed to supervising and financially supporting the project. In addition to these organizations, two other partners who are experienced in the field of tourism, Kéroul and the Commission de la capitale nationale du Québec,1 came on board. The foundations of this project, called Tourisme sans obstacle, having been laid, it remained only to evaluate the accessibility of the various tourism sites. And who better for this role than persons with disabilities who experience the reality of these non-adapted sites on a day-to-day basis? La Croisée, a specialized manpower service in the Québec City area, helped to recruit the promotional officers needed. Eight promotional officers, eight different experiences By bringing together persons with different disabilities, the evaluation of the tourism sites was done from different perspectives, which is what made this approach very interesting. Because, needless to say, what is accessible for one person may not necessarily be so for another, as explained by Marie-Hélène Lapointe-Veilleux, a participant in the project. Each promotional officer, in addition to contributing their own expertise, has their own specific work experience. For Manon Blaney, who gets around in a motorized wheelchair, this was her first job. “I loved this experience. This job gave me the idea of perhaps going back to school.” For Denis Samson, this was a return to work after three years of unemployment. “With this job, I rebuilt my confidence in myself and developed my taste for travel.” For Nathalie Bolduc, it was a new experience as part of a team. “We were obliged to understand the disabilities of all the other officers. For example, my needs, as someone who moves around in a wheelchair, are very different from someone with a visual impairment, like Steve Fortin.” According to Louis-David Bourque, project coordinator, the chemistry of the team was exceptional and was undoubtedly one of the elements that contributed to the success of the project. Results The members of the team thus toured various cultural, scientific and tourism sites recommended by the Commission de la capitale nationale. The Notre-Dame-de-Québec Basilica, the Parc Montmorency, the Parc des Gouverneurs, City Hall, Place-Royale, the Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge, Dufferin Terrace, the Centre d’interprétation du Vieux-Port, and many other sites were carefully evaluated by the eight officers. On the whole, most sites were barrier-free, but minor changes could be made to improve them, for example the height of the

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soap holders in public washrooms, the height of elevator buttons, broken sidewalks, and so forth. Based on these observations, a report was drafted setting out the team’s recommendations. Tourisme sans obstacle then submitted the results of its studies to the Commission de la capitale nationale, which welcomed them with great interest. “Already, the renovation of certain buildings, for example the washrooms of the Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge, will be done based on these recommendations in order to better adapt the premises,” explains Suzanne Aubé, program coordinator for the Commission. In addition to considering barrier-free design in its development plan, the Commission will help disseminate the results, which in turn should help improve the situation. Kéroul will also assist in disseminating these results. Québec City, it should be recalled, is being rejuvenated for its 400th anniversary, which will be celebrated in 2008. Denis Angers, marketing director for the Commission de la capitale nationale du Québec, pointed out, at the post-mortem activity of Tourisme sans obstacle on November 29th, that Québec intends, for this great celebration, to be accessible to all Quebecers. The work carried out as part of this project will serve as a reference in achieving this objective. In addition to Québec City’s tourism circuits, Tourisme sans obstacle also took the time to evaluate the accessibility of various other premises, such as shopping centres, discothèques, hotels, financial institutions, and so forth. The information collected will be used to prepare a guide to barrier-free services in Québec City, a document that will serve as a reference work for persons with disabilities. By Pascale Demers 1

Kéroul is an organization dedicated to the promotion of barrier-free tourism and culture, while the mission of the Commission de la capitale nationale is to develop public places, commemorative parks, flower gardens and access routes to the provincial capital.

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POINT OF INTEREST The funding of special education services What do the codes mean? The field of special education services for students with disabilities raises many questions, and the support service at the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec is often contacted in this regard. Most of them concern the students’ individualized education plans. In addition, many parents with disabled children wonder about the disability codes used by the schools. This article will attempt to shed some light on the topic. The disability codes are one of the parameters used to ensure that funding is shared equally among the school boards. In general, a school board’s funding begins with a basic allowance for service organization (the expenses incurred for managing schools, the school board and equipment), to which is added another basic allowance for educational activities. The latter is based on the number of students in the school board and on their characteristics. It is the declaration of student population that determines the number of students and the profile of the school clientele. This profile is based on the proportion of students at risk estimated for each school board, on a poverty index (used to provide additional assistance to disadvantaged communities) and on the number of students who have certain characteristics, such as moderate to severe intellectual impairments, severe motor impairments, visual impairments, etc. The disability codes are used to identify the number of students having these characteristics. It is thus on this basis that the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS) allocates to the various schools financial resources for the organization of educational services intended for students with handicaps, social maladjustments or learning difficulties. However, it should be understood that when a code is assigned to a student, it does not determine the value or the cost of the services to which that child is entitled. For example, in the case of a student who receives a code 42, which corresponds to a visual impairment, the school board obtains an additional amount based on this code as part of the overall financial resources allocated to that school board by the MELS. This means that the student with a visual impairment does not receive the services that are equivalent to the amount of funding associated with the code, but rather the services that are actually adapted to his or her needs, even if the cost of the services exceeds the value of the funding associated with the code. Therefore, the code has no impact on the specific services that the child should receive; these are instead determined by his or her needs. This corresponds to the individualized approach that is advocated by the OPHQ. Parents should understand that if they have a child who is handicapped within the meaning of the Education Act,1 he or she is entitled to receive the services that are adapted to his or her needs, something the Act makes very clear. The Act also provides for the preparation of an individualized education plan, which is still the best way of bringing together the resource people both in and outside of the school who work with the child in order to identify his needs and ensure that the adapted services required are indeed implemented. A recent Court of Appeal ruling confirmed the school board’s obligation to provide these adapted services as part of the individualized education plan before ranking the student. In short, these codes allow schools to obtain additional funding allowing them to implement special education services. However, they do not determine the scope of the special education

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services that should be offered to a disabled student; instead, these services are established based on the student’s specific needs. If you have questions on this topic or you are having trouble integrating your child into regular classrooms, the OPHQ can provide you with information and, where applicable, support you in your efforts. By Micheline Thibault Codes used for disabled students Code 33: Code 34: Code 24: Code 23: Code 50:

Code 53: Code 99: Code 36: Code 42: Code 44:

Mild motor impairments or organic impairments Language disorders Moderate to severe intellectual impairments Profound intellectual impairments Pervasive developmental disorders (autistic disorders, Rett’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, non-specific pervasive developmental disorders) Psychopathological disorders Atypical disorders Severe motor impairments Visual impairments Hearing impairments

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The Education Act recognizes the definition of “handicapped person” as it appears in the Act to secure handicapped persons in the exercise of their rights with a view to achieving social, school and workplace integration: “…a person with a deficiency causing a significant and persistent disability, who is liable to encounter barriers in performing everyday activities.”

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OVERVIEW Tools for the transition from school to active life The Estrie region has produced something new—a CD containing different tools required for the development and implementation of a school to active life transition plan in order to facilitate this process in the schools. Young people with disabilities who may experience difficulty adapting to adult life can take advantage of this tool, which will help both them and their entourage better prepare themselves for this important transition. These plans are generally intended for young people aged 16 and over who plan to leave school in approximately three years. This CD was produced by a working committee made up of resource people from schools, the community and the social services network. The CD is available in all secondary schools in the Estrie region attended by young people with physical or intellectual disabilities or mental health problems. For more information, you can contact Ms Marie-Andrée Lemieux of the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec by dialing (819) 820-3773 or, toll-free, 1 866 680-1935.

Screening and diagnosis The parental support committee of the Association pour l’intégration sociale in the Québec City area recently launched a DVD entitled Un choix de vie. It is designed for parents who, further to screening tests, must make a decision as to whether to continue or terminate a pregnancy. It is also for parents whose child has been diagnosed with an intellectual impairment. The DVD aims to help the former make an informed decision and to provide the latter with information through testimony from parents and specialists and scenes from daily life. For more information, please contact the AIS by dialing (418) 622-4290.

A Web site for L’envol The Centre de stimulation L’envol launched its Web site last fall. L’envol is a community organization located in Victoriaville which provides stimulation and recreational activities to children aged 0 to 12 who have communication problems. Its mandate is to promote the creation of specialized adapted services that support families and help children surpass their limits. The Web site is lively and provides information on the organization, its services and a special section containing suggestions for reading and games. Visit it at www.lenvol.ca.

For improved access to museums Last fall, the Société des musées québécois (SMQ) and Kéroul, an organization which aims to make tourism and culture accessible to persons with disabilities, signed a three-year partnership agreement. The main objective of this partnership is to make museums in Québec more accessible to persons with disabilities. This initiative will result in the implementation of mechanisms to inform and make the museum community aware of the needs of the disabled, in addition to providing training and documentation. For more information, please contact Kéroul at (514) 252-3104 or the SMQ at (514) 987-3264.

New publications Last fall, the Regroupement d’organismes de promotion pour personnes handicapées de la Mauricie launched two documents that fulfil the popular education mandate of its mission. 21

The first, entitled Guide de participation active des personnes handicapées au Québec, aims to facilitate the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in associations, working committees and various meetings. This guide is intended chiefly for group facilitators, association members, teachers and presidents of boards of directors. It contains a wealth of information and tips to better adapt meetings according to participants’ disabilities, and an evaluation checklist that will help the appropriate changes to be made. It also contains a list of useful resources. The second document, entitled Guide de l’administrateur, was compiled in order to better equip members of boards of directors and the employees of organizations. It aims to be a reference among community organizations with regard to laws and regulations concerning meetings and assemblies of boards of directors. Respectively priced at $30 and $25, these documents can be ordered by contacting the Regroupement at (819) 372-1036 or by e-mail at [email protected] The Office des personnes handicapées du Québec also published two documents recently. The first, Rapport annuel de gestion 2004-2005, gives an account of the activities carried out by the OPHQ over the past fiscal year and sets out the results achieved with regard to the priorities established. The second document is entitled État de situation de la langue des signes québécoise en enseignement – Rapport de recherche et pistes de solution proposées par l’Office des personnes handicapées du Québec. This document discusses the situation with regard to preschool and school training of Deaf children and students and proposes a number of solutions that can help partners work together. These two documents can be downloaded from our site (www.ophq.gouv.qc.ca) or ordered by calling 1 800 567-1465 or, by teletype, 1 800 567-1477.

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LETTERS Homage to Norbert Rodrigue The Mouvement des Personnes d’Abord of Drummondville has learned with regret that Norbert Rodrigue will be leaving the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec and wishes to say a few words about this great man who lived by the maxims of solidarity, mutual respect and pride in Québec citizenship. First, the Mouvement would like to salute and thank Mr Rodrigue for his innate generosity and his innovative, liberating spirit, which was felt in both his actions and his words. It would also like to acclaim and thank Mr Rodrigue for all of his activities which, at both the Québec and the international level, will continue to improve and bring out the best in humanity. Thank you , Mr Rodrigue, and we wish you all the best in your future endeavours! Marcel Blais, Mouvement des Personnes d’Abord de Drummondville

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LITERATURE REVIEW Deafness and Québec Sign Language GAUCHER, Charles. « Les sourds comme figures de tensions identitaires », Anthropologie et Sociétés, vol. 29, no 2, 2005, pp. 151-167 (A10346) In order to define the contemporary Deaf identity, this article looks at two societal approaches: caretaking, and the claim for identity. It underscores the importance of developing sign languages throughout the world, since they are veritable political and identity issues for Deaf people. VILLENEUVE, Suzanne; PARISOT, Anne-Marie (ed.). Guide de réflexion pour l’embauche et l’encadrement des techniciennes-interprètes et techniciens-interprètes. Montréal, QC: Groupe de recherche sur la LSQ et le bilinguisme sourd, Université du Québec à Montréal, 2004, 29 p. (M7050). A new category of job was created in the spring of 2000, namely that of technician-interpreter or interpreter-technician. This document explains the role played by this new worker in the school environment with Deaf children, and helps readers to better understand this category of employment. VERCAINGNE-MÉNARD, Astrid. L’option du bilinguisme en surdité: un modèle québécois. Montréal, QC: Groupe de recherche sur la LSQ et le bilinguisme sourd, Université du Québec à Montréal, 2003, 11 p. Paper presented at the Colloque européen sur l’éducation bilingue et biculturelle pour enfants sourds et sourds aveugles, held in Poitiers, France, in April 2003. (A9623) This document discusses a pilot project using bilingual QSL/French instruction at the École Gadbois in Montréal. The results are interesting, with reading becoming increasingly easier for the students and with writing, despite major problems, making considerable progress. Let us hope that this type of instruction is used elsewhere in Québec in the near future. BLAIS, Marguerite. Quand les Sourds nous font signe. Histoires de sourds. Loretteville, QC: Le Dauphin Blanc, 2003, 184 p. (M6580) The story of Deaf people is first and foremost the story of the battle between two educational methods: lip-reading and signing. The document goes on to present a number of portraits of Deaf people who are veritable models for young people. There is also a chapter on the respect of differences, written by Jules Desrosiers. A well-known media personality, Marguerite Blais, who is fascinated by the Deaf universe, defended a doctoral thesis entitled “Variantes sur la culture sourde, quête identitaire au cœur de la communication” at the Université du Québec à Montréal, which will soon be published by the Presses de l’Université Laval. Centre québécois de la déficience auditive. Regroupement des organismes des sourds du Québec. Pour une reconnaissance officielle de la langue des signes québécoise (LSQ). Mémoire présenté aux audiences nationales à la Commission des états généraux sur la situation et l’avenir de la langue française au Québec. Montréal, QC: CQDA et ROSQ, 2001, 29 p. (A8450) QSL is a language in its own right. It has linguistic characteristics that set it apart from other sign languages. It is also the primary language of Deaf people, constituting a key element in

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their overall development and social participation and helping them better master French. For this reason, this brief advocates official recognition of QSL in Québec and underlines the role that the Charter of the French language should play in the application of the bilingual approach. DUBUISSON, Colette; DAIGLE, Daniel (ed.). Lecture, écriture et surdité. Visions actuelles et nouvelles perspectives. Montréal, QC: Les Éditions Logiques, 1998, 366 p. (M4093) Colette Dubuisson, professor at the UQAM, directs the Groupe de recherche sur la LSQ et le bilinguisme sourd. This work, written jointly with Deaf people, looks at the different approaches in teaching reading and writing to Deaf people. QSL, which the authors consider a first language in the Deaf community, plays a vital role in the solutions they suggest. It should be noted that the research group has also published a descriptive grammar of QSL as well as a series of directories of technical signs of QSL. These works are available at the OPHQ’s documentation centre. SACKS, Oliver. Seeing Voices: A Journey into the World of the Deaf. Picador, 1989, 235 p. (M3376) Written by a well-known author, this book is more than a history of the specific world of Deaf people and their struggle for culture and dignity: it makes us reflect on our condition as speaking beings. For language is more than its simple verbal expression; it is based on deep structures that can be activated in Deaf and hearing people alike. Deaf people express themselves in another way, but one that is just as rich as that of hearing people. It is another way of being human. By Sophie Janik To borrow any of the above, or for more information, feel free to contact the Documentation Centre team at (514) 873-3574 or 1-888-264-2362 toll-free, or by e-mail at [email protected]

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INNOVATION Documentation Centre The catalogue is online! On December 7, the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec celebrated the publication of the online catalogue, which lists all of the documents in its documentation centre. For this occasion, an information activity was organized in Montreal at the Documentation Centre itself. In his address, Mr Norbert Rodrigue, then chairperson and director general of the OPHQ, underscored the key role that the Documentation Centre plays in improving the social inclusion of persons with disabilities. “The development of solutions that help eliminate the barriers facing the persons with disabilities must be based on acquired knowledge,” he declared. “Knowledge must not remain on the shelves, but must lead to action. And this how this online catalogue can be helpful.” The Documentation Centre boasts a collection of some 20,000 documents on the social inclusion of persons with disabilities, in all sectors of human activity. According to Ms Sophie Janik, head librarian at the Documentation Centre, “the online catalogue allows anyone who is looking for information to perform a search for himself and find the document that meet his needs, and then to request this document from the Documentation Centre.” During her demonstration, Ms Janik explained the different types of searches that can be performed. A dozen indexes can be used (by title, author, subject, etc.), most of which can be queried from an alphabetical list. She also indicated that, in addition to providing remote support for all questions about querying the catalogue, introductory sessions to documentary research are also offered. In addition, the Documentation Centre has a multimedia station whose three software programs can be used by people with different types of visual impairments. Over fifty people from the sectors of library science, education, research, health and social services and disability associations responded to the invitation. Participants included Mr Robert Doré, professor and director of the Département d’éducation et formation spécialisées at the Université du Québec à Montréal, and Ms Lise Bissonnette, CEO of the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec. The activity was a resounding success. As Mr Rodrigue stated so eloquently in his address, knowledge is a key element in the evolution of any society. The publication of this online catalogue makes knowledge accessible throughout Québec and also throughout the world. The catalogue can be consulted on the OPHQ’s Web site at www.ophq.gouv.qc.ca. By Micheline Thibault

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Director of Communications Michel-André Roy Coordinator Micheline Thibault Contributors Pascale Demers Arielle Hudon-Fortier Micheline Thibault Collaborators Gilles Bélanger Pierre Berger Marie-Andrée Coutu Bernard Fréchette Graphic Design absolu.ca Printing Imprimerie Lemire To subscribe to L’intégration or notify us of a change of address, please contact us at: L’intégration 309, rue Brock Drummondville (Québec) J2B 1C5 Telephone: 1 800 567-1465 Teletype: 1 800 567-1477 E-mail: [email protected] www.ophq.gouv.qc.ca L’intégration is a quarterly newsletter aimed at providing an overview of topics relating to the educational, vocational and social integration of persons with disabilities in Québec and its various regions. Its goal is to promote integration and inform public and private stakeholders about the major issues concerning persons with disabilities by publishing pertinent, well-researched articles.

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