Program by Deaf Litercy Initiative
A-  A  A+  A++

About Deaf Literacy Initiative

Deaf Literacy Initiative (DLI) is a provincial umbrella organization. DLI supports the Deaf and Deafblind literacy Community in Ontario. DLI provides accessible and culturally relevant

  • training
  • research
  • networking
  • resources

DLI is the first agency of its kind in Canada.

DLI began as GOLD—Goal: Ontario Literacy for Deaf People. In 1991 a group of Deaf leaders: Christine Ehrlich-Brady, Wanda Berrette, Louis Ford, and Armand Brennan were concerned about the low literacy skills among the Deaf and Deafblind community. This led to them to create GOLD.

Mrs. Bernadette Beaupre, from the Ontario Literacy Coalition (OLC), helped GOLD create its vision, goals, and by-laws.

During the first year GOLD was run by volunteers. Its mission was to provide training to practitioners in the Ontario Deaf and Deafblind literacy stream.

In 1992 Frank O’Sullivan became the first part-time staff Coordinator. He worked from his home.

In 1994 Cheryl Wilson was hired to replace Mr. O’Sullivan. She worked part time from her home until 1997.

In 1997 the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) created the Literacy Basic Skills (LBS) program. GOLD was funded and hired a full-time Executive Director. In that same year, GOLD became incorporated with a new set of by-laws and a new office in Brampton. As the number of people working at GOLD increased, the office moved to its present address.

Creation of Deaf Literacy Initiative (DLI)

In 1997 GOLD became Deaf Literacy Initiative (DLI). This was a new name for an agency that was growing and changing. Along with the new name came a new logo, website, and vision and mission statement.

The new vision and mission statement reflected DLI’s goal. DLI wanted to become a world leader in professional expertise and innovation in Deaf and Deaf-blind literacy.

Deaf Literacy Initiative

  • develops accessible and accredited training for both practitioners and learners
  • takes part in consultation, research, and technology initiatives to promote and advance the Deaf and Deafblind literacy stream
  • produces accessible and culturally relevant learning resources in support of the community’s needs

DLI has taken on many projects committed to improving literacy within the Deaf and Deafblind community. Research projects have helped prepare Deaf and Deafblind people for the workforce and meaningful employment. New technology is used, and American Sign Language (ASL) is a part of every resource developed including English packages, such as E-Learning.

Deaf Literacy Initiative has developed many resources, examples are:

  • Workforce literacy workbooks: “Deaf Literacy Skills for the Workplace: Practitioners’ Guide” & “Deaf Literacy Skills for the Workplace: Learners’ Workbook”
  • A standardized curriculum for adult literacy programs in Ontario.
  • The adaptation of a workforce literacy and Essential Skills assessment tool (CAMERA) for the Deaf and Deafblind literacy stream, complete with a teaching curriculum.
  • The development of an Essential Skills website – all information and resources on the website will be available in ASL and plain language English.
  • Several comprehensive research projects and reports.

Deaf Literacy Initiative is very proud of all of its work and the resources created by and for the Deaf and Deafblind Literacy Stream.

Deaf Literacy Initiative will continue in its mission to empower Deaf and Deafblind people by creating quality literacy resources.

For more information about Deaf Literacy Initiative, please visit