Photo by: Thiago Barletta on Unsplash
On Mon. March 6, a pilot program was officially launched at the City of St. Catharines recreational facilities.
To improve the communication resources for the Deaf community, new American Sign Language (ASL) signage is being installed at the entrances of select city recreational facilities and parks.
The aim is to improve communication between deaf and hearing residents in public spaces. A member of the deaf community, Avril Hertneky, was the first to approach the city with ideas on how to address this issue. Hertneky has since worked with city staff to find solutions.
The signs feature common words in ASL, as well as the alphabet.
“The initiative aligns with the Accessibility Advisory Committee’s goal to promote a barrier-free and inclusive environment for all, and the recreation master plan’s goal to make St. Catharines the city where everybody can play. We hope that other municipalities will follow our lead and install similar signage in their recreation facilities and parks,” said Eric Lamothe, the city’s manager of business planning and strategic services.
The ASL signages will be installed at Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre, Bill Burgoyne Arena, St. Catharines Kiwanis Aquatic Centre, Port Weller Community Centre, Russell Avenue Community Centres, Dunlop Drive Older Adult Centre and West St. Catharines Older Adult Centre.
Select parks in the city will also have signage installed this summer. A copy of the ASL posters can be found here.