The Deafblind Coalition of Ontario has its roots in a historic meeting in November 2002 in King City, Ontario. The meeting was aptly called, "Discovery and Hope: Together at the Crossroads". The meeting was attended by board members, senior executives of various service providers and intervenor training programs, consumer groups, and others from the deafblind community across Canada.
The group assembled to discuss a "path to the future" that would address the pressures the sector was facing in the areas of human resources, financial availability and service gaps.
A second meeting occurred in February 2003 as a follow-up. The most important outcome was the establishment of a formal group whose responsibility it would be to identify and address the needs of the deafblind sector in Ontario. In the spring of 2003 that group named themselves the "Deafblind Coalition of Ontario".
DBCO's current work includes the very successful "The Spirit of Intervenors" annual training symposium that brings together intervenors from across Ontario, the country and beyond. The annual conference is attended by approximately 250-300 people each year.
Click image to enlarge our historical infographic
The Deafblind Coalition of Ontario envisions a climate where:
- All individuals who are deafblind have the right to intervenor services.
- The amount of intervenor services provided be based on the needs of the individual.
- Government has a responsibility to fund the delivery of intervenor services.
The Deafblind Coalition of Ontario works to achieve:
- Increased public awareness of the uniqueness of deafblindness as a specific disability.
- Increased development of training programs for intervenors.
- Increased recruitment and hiring of intervenors.
- Increased awareness among people with deafblindness of the benefits of intervenor services.
The importance of the Coalition cannot be understated. The field of deafblindness is small and the work is still great after so many years. One common voice is critical, and together the future can only be brighter.