Adult Literacy – Deaf Literacy


The Windsor Public Library Deaf Literacy Program provides a variety of services to enable adults to achieve personal goals through literacy.

 What is literacy?

Literacy is the ability to read, write, calculate, speak, and understand, as well as sign and communicate in other forms of language, according to need. Literacy is a continuum of these skills necessary for everyday life in the home, at work, in education, and in the community.

Basic skills are the additional skills a learner needs to use their literacy skills, such as digital technology skills, interpersonal skills, problem solving skills and critical thinking skills.

Who we are / What we offer

The Windsor Public Library Deaf Literacy Program supports adults (18 years and older) who want to improve their ASL, reading, writing, and numeracy skills to achieve goals of employment, further education and training, or independence. Our program is learner-centred, goal-based and transition-oriented.

 Services we provide:

• customer service;
• information and referral;
• assessment;
• individualized learner plan development;
• training; and
• follow-up.

Small Group instruction

• Up to 4 learners work in a group;
• One instructor / tutor responsible to all of the learners in the group;
• Peer, cooperative and self-directed learning is included;
• Individualized programming and instruction, as well as group learning;
• Often suited to learners who enjoy working with other people; and
• Can act as a bridge of transition to classroom training (whether literacy or other).


• E-channel (online classroom and meeting space for students, teachers, coaches, trainers and leaders of adult literacy. There is a wide range of courses / classes including: Math, Reading, Science, Writing, Spelling, Algebra, Using Computers, How to use Facebook, etc.);
• Smartboard (good tool for engaging learners with various learning styles); and
• iPads (interactive).

 We help learners achieve their goals. The five goal paths are:

1) Independence: prepares learners for the literacy and basic skills required in four functions that contribute to personal independence (managing basic needs, managing personal health, managing personal issues and relationships as well as participating in the community).

2) Employment: primarily prepares the learner for an activity for which an individual earns a wage or salary. Preparation for activities that model work, such as volunteering at a workplace, internships and community placements, are also included in the employment goal path.

3) Post-secondary Education: prepares learners for formal education opportunities at a college or university for which high school completion or its equivalency is the normal entrance requirement.

4) Secondary school credit: prepares learners for Ontario Ministry of Education secondary school credit courses leading to an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

5) Apprenticeship: prepares learners for on-the-job, workplace-based training programs geared toward a career in the skilled trades. Preparation for specific vocational skills training is also included in the apprenticeship goal path.

Learner Profile

“To learn another language is to learn about another culture. In this case, the language is American Sign Language (ASL) and the culture is that of Deaf people. Learning about another culture and language expands your world and teaches you many things about yourself. Although many people think of ASL as a visual form of English, ASL has a distinct set of linguistic and grammar rules, as do other languages such as French, German, or English.” (excerpt from NSCC)

Our learners come from a range of backgrounds. Some are immigrants who never learned ASL or their own native language, and learned to communicate through informal gestures. Some have gone through the school system in Canada and, due to challenges such as learning disabilities, still struggle with literacy. Our program offers individualized training to meet their needs and help them succeed.

Windsor Public Library
Adult Literacy Program
850 Ouellette Avenue
Windsor, Ontario
N9A 4M9
Phone: (519) 255-6770 ext. 4433
Fax: (519) 255-7207
TTY for hearing impaired: (519) 252-4775

“This Employment Ontario program is funded by the Ontario government.”

Employment Ontario



9 Responses to "Adult Literacy – Deaf Literacy"

  1. Krystal says:

    I was wondering if this is still offered because I was about to email Kathyrn to see if there was anyway I could help out.

  2. Marilyn says:

    I am wondering where you get the course from. I am researching deaf adult literacy and am having troubles finding course materials.

    • Windsor Public Library says:

      Courses are given at the Canadian Hearing Society (CHS Windsor, 300 Giles Blvd. E, Unit A3, Windsor, ON).
      If you wish to receive more information about the program please contact directly the Deaf Literacy Instructor by sending her an email at

  3. Nina says:

    Where can I find classes for my 9 year old?
    She really wants to learn asl.

    • Windsor Public Library says:

      Thanks for expressing your interest in finding ASL classes for your nine-year-old daughter.
      Unfortunately, the only classes that teach ASL currently are for adults (at St. Clair College and the Canadian Hearing Society). You may be able to find a private tutor to teach her ASL.

    • NIcole says:

      I realized you posted this a long time ago, but I just wanted to let you know that I am a Sign Language Communicator and would love to help your daughter learn and communicate with ASL. If you are still interested and would like to talk please email me at

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am very interested in improving my beginner skills in ASL.

    When/Where would I be eligible for any of your free ASL Program(s)?

    • Windsor Public Library says:

      If you just wish to learn ASL but don’t have literacy issues, you can contact directly the Canadian Hearing Society. Here is the contact information for the office ASL in Windsor.

      CHS Windsor
      300 Giles Blvd. E, Unit A3
      Windsor, ON N9A4C4
      Phone: 519-253-7241
      TTY: 1-877-216-7302
      Fax: 519-253-6630
      Monday-Friday 8:30AM-4:30PM

      I think they have classes coming up in September but you should verify this information with them directly.
      Here’s a link to their website:

      The ASL portion of our literacy program at Windsor Public Library is just for individuals who have literacy difficulties and also need to improve their reading, writing etc..
      In that case, you can contact Kathryn Kerr; she is the Deaf Literacy Instructor for the library and her email is

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