As many of you already know from our announcements this spring, IDHHC is no longer receiving contract funding from the Ministry of Children and Family Development for the delivery of services by our Family and Community (F&C) Program. For the last 30 years the funding from this contract was used to pay wages for F&C staff in Victoria and Nanaimo. So unfortunately, we have had to say goodbye to Susanne Harnden and Leslee Scott from our Victoria office. Although moving on to other avenues – or retirement! – we thank them both for their commitment to supporting the Island community. Both of them have agreed to occasional work with IDHHC on contract for specific projects – and we thank them for wanting to share their experience, expertise and knowledge. We also say goodbye and happy retirement to Alex Walker from our Nanaimo office. Alex started with IDHHC in Nanaimo as this program and contract first began in 1992 and has helped it to grow and flourish over the last 30 years. All of us at IDHHC and the community will miss her warm and caring support and thoughtful guidance, and we thank her for all of her dedication and commitment.
So now we begin a new chapter! What will services for Deaf and hard of hearing families and individuals look like in the days ahead??
- IDHHC continues to work in partnership with BC Family Hearing Resource Society to provide ASL instruction for families with children under 6 years so these services to families will remain unchanged.
- Provincial Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (PDHHS) team will now deliver all services to families with school age Deaf and hard of hearing children across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. All IDHHC facilities and resources are available to them in their work here on the Island.
- Deaf Well Being Program and IDHHC will continue to work together as we assist with referrals and support for the Well Being staff and the community with access to the facilities.
- Services for adults and seniors have been significantly impacted and we are working hard to find long term funding solutions to address these service needs as quickly as possible. We will keep the community updated as we make progress.
Change is always difficult – but sometimes change can create new opportunities. IDHHC is committed to finding new ways to improve services to Deaf and hard of hearing individuals across Vancouver Island; strengthen our current partnerships and explore new ones; to engage the community to assist in determining the types of services we should provide in the future.
We thank everyone for their patience and support during this time of transition and we look forward to developing new and improved opportunities in the months ahead.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Staff,