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
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.