Revised and Approved by the Partners June 28, 2012

Access Mechanism

The application processes used by some agencies of the OASIS Sensory Partners and consumers. See Developmental Services Ontario (DSO).

Adapted Interactive Tactual Sign Language (AITSL)

The hand over hand sign language most often used with congenitally deafblind individuals.

American Sign Language (ASL)

The sign language used in North America. A highly visual language with its own syntax and grammar.

American Sign Language (ASL) – English Interpreters

American Sign Language (ASL) – English Interpreters facilitate communication between Deaf and hearing people.

Application Entity

See Developmental Services Ontario (DSO).

Bob Rumball Associations for the Deaf (BRAD)

Located in Milton, Ontario, the Bob Rumball Associations for the Deaf provides a variety of care and support to deaf children and adults with a variety of needs including troubled youth, developmental disability, and Deaf plus individuals, youth and adults with behavioural, emotional or psychiatric problems, young offenders, and dually diagnosed individuals.

Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf (BRCD)

Located in North York, Ontario, the Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf is a multi-purpose, multi-program facility that functions both as a community centre for the Deaf, and as a provider of services to the Deaf.

Canadian Helen Keller Centre Inc. (CHKC)

CHKC is Canada’s only residential training centre for persons who are deaf-blind. The Centre offers a variety of courses with the goal of increasing an individual’s level of independence, safety in their home and community and natural support network. CHKC also provides support and services to seniors who are losing their hearing and vision due to the aging process.


A Communicator provides sign language, interpreting, and/or communicator services, where required, for Deaf adults who have a developmental delay, mental health issues and/or low language skills. The communication will match the language level of the individual.

Community Networks of Specialized Care

Part of the transformation of developmental services, the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) established four networks of specialized care across the province of Ontario that would enhance service to adults with a developmental disability who need specialized care for co-existing mental health and/or behavioural issues.

Community Visions & Networking

Located in Belleville, Ontario, Community Visions & Networking supports individuals who are disabled, deaf, hard of hearing, or have communication difficulty. The philosophy of the agency is to support people who need and seek assistance to enhance their opportunities to live interdependently and to access their community.

DeafBlind (DB)

Deafblindness is a unique and complex disability involving a combination of vision and hearing loss. People who are deafblind experience challenges with communication, access to information, and mobility. The specific needs of individuals who are deafblind vary enormously according to age, onset of the disability, and type of deafblindness.

Acquired Deafblindness

Acquired deafblindness is a description applied to people who experience both vision and hearing loss later in life. Losses may occur at separate times or may occur simultaneously. They may also be progressive.

Congenital Deafblindness

Congenital deafblindness is a description applied to people who are born with both hearing and visual loss or who became deafblind before developing symbolic language.

Individual Differences in Deafblindness

Individuals who are deafblind are not a homogenous group. The common factor is a loss of vision and hearing that gives rise to issues over access to information, communication, and mobility. Because of the diversity within the group, organizations must provide a continuum of intervenor services to meet the unique needs of each individual.

DeafBlind Ontario Services

Since 1989, DeafBlind Ontario Services has enabled adults with congenital deafblindness to live more independently by providing residential and other specialized services across the province.

Deaf Interpreter (DI)

A Deaf interpreter uses American Sign Language, gesture, and/or other communication strategies to facilitate communication between a Deaf consumer, a hearing consumer, and a hearing interpreter. A Deaf interpreter is a Deaf individual who has native or near-native fluency in American Sign Language, who has interpreting experience, and who has taken specialized training.

A Deaf interpreter will function as a member of the interpreting team. A Deaf interpreter may be needed if a Deaf person uses signs that are: particular to a region or age group, has minimal or limited communication skills, has had their communication hindered or altered because of sickness or injury, or uses non-standard ASL or gestures.

Developmental Services Ontario (DSO)

Developmental Services Ontario helps adults with developmental disabilities connect to services and supports funded by the Ministry of Community and Social Services in their communities. There are nine DSO agencies across Ontario: York Support Service Network – Central East, Sunbeam Residential Development Centre – Central West, Contact Hamilton for Children’s and Developmental Services – Hamilton-Niagara, Algonquin Child and Family Services-North East, Lutheran Community Care Centre of Thunder Bay-Northern and North West, Extend-A-Family-South East, Community Services Coordination Network-South West, Surrey Place Centre-Toronto, Service Coordination des Services-Ottawa and Eastern Ontario.

Funding Entity

The funding entity in Ontario is currently being developed. The function of the funding entity will be to provide one place for adults who have developmental disabilities to apply for funding based on their support needs.

Haliburton Kawartha Lakes Pine Ridge- Intake Resource Team (HKPR-IRT)

The access mechanism formerly used by Peterborough Communication Support Systems (PCSS). See Developmental Services Ontario (DSO)

Haliburton Kawartha Lakes Pine Ridge-Resource Management Team (HKPR-RMT)

PCSS is part of this committee which provides case resolution to the HKPR area. The Priority Team is a subcommittee of HKPR-RMT and is responsible for prioritizing applications forwarded from the DSO for vacancies in the HKPR area.

Halton Support Services

The access mechanism formerly used by the Bob Rumball Associations for the Deaf. See Developmental Services Ontario (DSO).

Integrated Response in Toronto

Integrated Response is the term used in Toronto developmental services for adults to refer to a comprehensive and consistent sector-wide approach to responding to the requests of individuals and families for information about services and supports and to help them get connected to the services and supports of their choice.

InterRAI CHA (Community Health Assessment) with Deafblind Supplement

The InterRAI CHA with the Deafblind supplement attached is a comprehensive standardized instrument for evaluating needs, strengths, and preferences of persons in community settings, who may be at risk for functional decline. The assessment form consists of item by item instructions, and a series of care planning protocols. The assessment form enables a service provider to briefly assess key domains of function, mental and physical health, support, and service use. Particular items also identify persons who could benefit from further evaluation of specific problems and risks for decline in health, well-being, or function. The deafblind supplement was developed and piloted by key deafblind stakeholders in Ontario.

Intervenor (IV)

Intervenors are specifically trained to be partners in communication with people who are deafblind, providing the visual and auditory information necessary to enable the person who is deafblind to interact with other people and their environment.

Intervenors take direction from the person they are working with, and use the mode of communication preferred by the person who is deafblind. Intervenors can act as a sighted guide if required.

Langue des signes quebecoise (LSQ)/Quebec Sign Language
LSQ is a sign language used in Canada and most LSQ users are located in Quebec. LSQ is a combination of American Sign Language and French Sign Language.

Lions McInnes House
Located in Brantford, Ontario, the Lions McInnes House enhances independent living for adults with deafblindness through Intervention in a community setting.

Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS)
For the purposes of this Glossary of Terms – MCSS is the primary funder of developmental services and the partners.

Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs (OASIS)
Liaise with the government on behalf of the member organizations with the goal of improving the development of cost effective quality supports for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs – Sensory Partners
An OASIS sub-committee comprised of members with a shared purpose of developing common ground on which to ensure a comprehensive community based service system for sensory impaired children and adults.

Peterborough Communication Support Systems (PCSS)
Located in Peterborough, Ontario, Peterborough Communication Support Systems provides residential and occupational services to adults who have developmental disabilities and are deaf, hard of hearing, or non-verbal.

Rotary (Don Valley) Cheshire Homes Inc. (RCH)
RCH operates a 16-unit dedicated supportive housing program and provides residential, outreach and emergency intervenor services to persons who are deaf-blind.

Signed Exact English (SEE)
A communication system of visually represented English in a manual form.

Supports Intensity Scale (SIS)
An assessment tool that evaluates the degree of practical support required by a person with an intellectual or developmental disability.

Telephone Devices for the Deaf (TDD)/Telephone Devices for the DeafBlind (TDDB)/

Teletypewriter (TTY)
A small keyboard device with a modem for telephone and visual display is used to send the message by code over the telephone to a similar machine.

Total Communication Approach (TCA)
To use as many methods of communication as needed to facilitate the exchange of information.

Total Communication Environment (TCE)
Located in the Ottawa, Ontario area Total Communication Environment provides residential, respite, day services and outreach to long term care homes for adults with multiple disabilities and special communication needs.

192 Member Agencies and Growing