Montreal’s Leisure Center for the deaf, in the neighborhood of Villeray, plays a major role in the life of the deaf community from Montreal and the surrounding areas. Deaf people visiting the city, would usually make a stop there.
People gather here and find a place where they have a chance to meet fellow deaf people, share similar experience of life and feel less isolated, a common feeling that the hearing world convey them unconsciously.
Thematic evenings are organized for the elders on Tuesdays and for young folks on Fridays.
Deaf people share the same language, LSQ, the Quebec sign language. Being deaf is first of all being part of a linguistic minority. The Center also plays an educative role as it shows families with deaf member the importance to exchange with sign languages. Many children of deaf parents learn sign language as their mother tongue.
In the opposite situation, many parents will try to “fix” the problem, which is too often perceived on the medical aspect, before accepting to learn how to communicate with their deaf child.
By organizing activities for families on the weekend, the center gives children a chance to believe that deaf people can be model in the deaf community. It defends the existence of the deaf culture, and for the hearing parents, it’s a way to discover that they have a mean to communicate easily with their kids.
Cheerful atmosphere and an obvious solidarity demonstrates a real sense of community.