The primary goals of the BCDST are the advancement of Educational programs and Vocational programs for the benefit of the B.C. Deaf Community, including Class Members. The BCDST does this by supporting programs in the following areas: Education, Employment and Literacy. The BCDST does not provide these programs directly, but rather contracts out to community agencies or provides funding to individuals who want to participate in programs supported by the BCDST. Outside agencies provide the programs directly to the community. The BCDST is independent of all community agencies.

Programs currently supported by the BCDST include:

  • Literacy Program
  • Out of Province Program
  • Blind/Deaf-Blind Program
Program Offered

The computer courses were successful in Victoria, Kelowna and Vancouver. More computer courses may be offered in Vancouver in the near future. If you are interested in a computer course in your community, contact BCDST.


The BCDST hired WIDHH to conduct a Literacy Needs Assessment by surveying Class Members to find out what they want for Literacy and Education support. The results show that Deaf individuals cannot access information through the usual channels open to the hearing public due to a lack of English literacy skills. The survey was conducted throughout B.C. and all regions identified a common need – to learn how to use computers because of isolation and the inability to access information. WIDHH proposed, “Literacy and quality of life can be improved by providing access to information about world and community news, health, finances, ASL and English vocabulary delivered in American Sign Language via the Internet.”

What BCDST will offer for computer course?

A Basic Computer Literacy course, taught in ASL for Deaf adults was identified as the first step towards increased literacy. The first pilot course will be offered at Camosun College in Victoria from January to February 2008. The BCDST would like to support similar courses offered at Community Colleges throughout B.C. in the future. The BCDST worked with Camosun College and the Island Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre (IDHHC) to develop this pilot course. The course is called “Computers Level 1 for Deaf Adults (Taught in ASL).” This is an introductory hands-on computer course taught in ASL by a Deaf instructor. Students will learn how to manage files and folders, organize emails, use popular websites for communication, create Word documents, and set-up and use a videophone. No previous experience with computers is necessary. Funding is available from the BC Deaf Scholarship Trust to cover the cost of the course.

The BCDST hired WIDHH to survey the Class Members who live outside of B.C. to help identify their needs and determine the best way to support them. The survey results showed that out of province Class members are few in number, are geographically spread out, and have totally different needs. Their needs cannot be met by group programs (except for scholarships) so individualized programming is required. The program that was developed is intended to support these Class Members with their Education and Literacy needs. The BCDST Trustees have the authority to settle with individual Out of Province Class Members when their needs can be met for $2,000 or less. For more information please contact the BCDST (check the Contact Us link).
There are approximately 10 blind Class Members. Under this program, BCDST Trustees have the authority to settle with individual Blind Class Members when their needs for literacy, employment or education program support can be met for $2,000 or less. Examples of how these funds have been used include the purchase of adaptive communications equipment, computer software and school tuition. For more information please contact the BCDST (check the Contact Us link).