The Settlement Program provides direct and essential services to support Deaf newcomers in settling and integrating into Canadian society in American Sign Language (ASL).


What is the Settlement Program?

The Settlement Program provides direct and essential services to support Deaf newcomers in settling and integrating into Canadian society in American Sign Language (ASL).

Who can access settlement services?

  • Permanent Residents of Canada
  • Protected Refugee, Convention Refugees  or Persons in Need of Protection
  • Individuals who have been selected, in Canada or overseas, to become permanent resident and have been informed by letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • Convention refugees and protected persons overseas who have been selected for resettlement in Canada by Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • Temporary Residents working in Canada with a work permit under the Live-In Caregiver Program
  • Applicants overseas who have been informed, by letter of confirmation from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, of the approval of their temporary work permit.

What are the settlement services at Silent Voice?

Silent Voice provides settlement services, focusing on orientation, to Deaf newcomers who receive timely, useful and accurate information needed to make informed settlement decisions and understand life in Canada, including laws, rights, responsibilities and how to access community resources. We do this in the following ways:

Needs Assessment and Referrals

  • Assess Deaf Immigrants’ needs, resources, strengths and barriers
  • Work with newcomers to set goals, priorities and develop a case plan
  • Refer and/or accompany newcomers to other service providers
  • Follow-up with newcomers and service providers  to ensure newcomers received the services required

Information and Awareness Services

  • Provide information, including information about Canadian society including Ontario’s legal system, employment, labour market opportunities, health care, housing, education and other topics
  • Offer group orientation and information sessions on a wide-variety of topics

Language Learning and Skills Development

  • Provide information about language programs in the community such as Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC), Deaf Workforce Literacy, and Deaf Academic Upgrading
  • Refer to the most-appropriate language program for language assessment and enrollment

Employment-Related Services

  • Provide pre-employment workshops, as well as one-on-one assistance that helps newcomers to develop the skills needed  to find employment such as resume and cover letter writing, internet job search skills, job interview preparation and enhanced occupation-specific language training
  • Provide information sessions on employment-related issues such as employment standards (hours of work, minimum wage, payroll records)

Community Connections

  • Assist newcomers in establishing contacts and developing networks within their community
  • Provide support to newcomers on an individual basis through mentor matching or through participation in focus groups, connection to volunteering and community activities
  • Provide orientation on settlement needs of newcomers to service providers and employers

Support Services

The following services are provided:

  • Limited sign language interpretation service is available to facilitate interaction between the newcomer and the community
  • Translation service of documents from written English into American Sign Language or from American Sign Language into written English
  • Assistance to newcomers in filling out forms and applications
  • Assistance to newcomers by helping them to define their settlement needs and assist in problem solving by identifying resources available to them

For more information about the Settlement Program, please contact Rosaria Skarp, Settlement Worker at