At Silent Voice, we believe parenting is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. To support this belief, we work together with our partners to provide opportunities for Deaf parents to attend parenting programs, access to parenting education and resources, and we advocate for Deaf parents.

About Deaf Parenting Programs

Silent Voice believes in the power of partnerships. Through meaningful partnerships we provide and increase opportunities for Parenting Programs for the Deaf community, as well as raise awareness on issues, and advocate for Deaf parents. At Silent Voice, we believe parenting is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Silent Voice and our partners meet quarterly to address issues, identify and fill gaps in service, and provide accessible parenting education and resources.

We currently deliver the services of the Deaf Parenting Program with the help of community partners, who play a vital role in the success of the programming:

The Macaulay Child Development Centre – Through Program Without Walls (PWW), funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada through Community Action Program for Children (CAPC), Silent Voice successfully partners with agencies such as the Macaulay Child Development Centre and Toronto Public Health.

Toronto Public Health, Parenting Programs – Public Health Nurses, often in partnership with community agencies, provide the following free parenting programs:
Parenting Programs Website

  • Living and Learning with Baby (6 weeks – 6 months) is a 5-week group program for new parents that focuses on enhancing parenting capacity, supporting transition to parenthood and building parental support systems, and includes prenatal and the home visiting Health Babies, Healthy Children Toronto program
  • Make the Connection (infants 6 weeks – 12 months, and one- to two-year olds) is a parent-infant 9-week interactive program that promotes secure attachment, two-way communication, infant led learning, the importance of early years and the parent-child relationship.
  •  Nobody’s Perfect (18 months – 6 years) is an 8-week program for parents that uses a participant-centered approach to help parents recognize and build on their strengths and to find positive ways to raise healthy and happy children. Silent Voice has encouraged Deaf parents who have participated in the programming and are interested, to take facilitator training to become facilitators of the program
  • The Incredible Years (2 – 6 years) is a 14-week program that is being developed designed to teach parents interactive play, non-violent discipline, logical consequences and problem solving skills. Sessions will involve discussions, video tape modelling and role play.
  • Peer Nutrition ProgramToronto Public Health Website
    For those who have participated and competed the Peer Nutrition classes, the program then offers a Support Site on the first and third Fridays of each month, to June 2015.  The support site is located at the Four Villages Community Health Centre at 3446 Dundas Street West.

ASL Parent-Child Mother Goose Program, Ontario Cultural Society of the Deaf

Designed for both Deaf and hearing families who use ASL, or Deaf hearing parents who use ASL with their Deaf or hearing children. This six-week program teaches parents ways to bond and communicate with their children, using rhymes, rhythms and storytelling using ASL and facial and body language. We have been able to identify a positive impact on both parents and the children, who have acquired more advanced ASL and communication. This is great opportunity for early baby social and emotional development; especially with language.

The ASL Parent-Child Mother Goose Program has been fortunate to partner with and use the premises of the Ontario Early Years Centre, Mothercraft, on Heath Street (just west of Yonge).

Deaf Parent Resource Group – The Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf (BRCD Website), the Canadian Hearing Society (CHS Website) and Silent Voice sponsor a Deaf Parent Resource Group by providing volunteer child-minders, covering the cost of interpreting and providing the space. To date, there are over 45 Deaf parents networking and meeting bi-monthly. The Deaf Parent Resource Group continues to support CODAs/KODAs (Children of Deaf Adults/Kids of Deaf Adults) program.  This group assists Deaf parents in understanding their responsibilities, as well as teaching appropriate parenting philosophies and techniques, while ensuring that each Deaf parent is able to identify themselves as members of a cultural and linguistic group and the Deaf community.

Diaper Bank of Toronto

Silent Voice is a participating agency of the Diaper Bank of Toronto, providing free diapers to low income families.

Diaper Bank Website

Resources

For more information on Parenting Programs made accessible and meaningful to Deaf Parents, visit the sites listed here.