Edmonton Literacy Programs

Connect Society’s Literacy Program offers adult and family literacy programs to individuals who are Deaf or have a child with a hearing loss

Family Literacy Programs

The Family Literacy Program provides home and centre based activities that promote early literacy and social interaction skills for children. A resource lending library is available to parents. All family literacy groups are run without any cost to the families participating thanks to our funding from Advanced Education.


Connect Society Literacy Program offers a new spring program for families to learn some ASL signs through five simple books. Each of the five books will have a different theme to go with it:

  • Arts and crafts
  • sensory lab
  • busy bodies
  • creative play
  • nature adventures

We will alternate a learning week with the ASL signs for parents and older kids and a playtime week with the whole family together!

Cost:    FREE! All families who register will receive a ‘Family Book Fun’ kit that will include the five books and all of the supplies needed to complete each activity

Registration opens in the Spring

ASL @ Home

Develop ASL skills right at home – vocabulary suited to your family’s needs and lifestyle

An instructor will provide your family 8 virtual sessions (through Google Meet) for 1 ½ hours

  • The ASL @ Home Program is designed for families to enhance their relationship with their children through ASL skill building in the comfort of your home. Sign language instructors will provide strategies and activities through games and books that you can keep that will help build the ASL related to a family’s interests and activities.  We will have small groups of families (3-4) with similar ASL experience meet virtually for 8 weeks at a mutually agreed time and day. The families chooses the goals and priorities and determines the focus, pace, content.

Are you interested in this program? Contact Marilyn Calkins for more info!



In Read and Sign, parents will:

  • Receive 3 quality books, vocabulary lists and a book bag
  • Receive instructional videos for learning and practice
  • Meet online to learn from sharing ideas and experiences with other parents and benefit from “Question and Answer” sessions and discussion

Read and Sign is a program developing early literacy using sign language. Early each week you will get an email link that will lead you to a Connect Society YouTube video of the signing and reading of the book for that week. You can watch and practice at home.

In the beginner class, parents can learn to read simple books using ASL. In the advanced class, we are exploring reading techniques to use in reading in ASL to young children. Online discussion sessions will happen weekly using Zoom or if you prefer a 1-1 session with the instructor that can be arranged.

Are you interested in this program? Contact Marilyn Calkins for more info!


Adult Literacy Programs

Adult Literacy programs support adult learners to gain foundational skills and improve their literacy skills.  All Adult literacy groups are offered at a low cost to the adults participating thanks to our funding from Advanced Education.


In this Deaf Adult literacy program we will go through Soft skills which are ways of acting or thinking that make it easier to work well with other people. Sometimes they’re called “people skills. “This program will help you build your soft skills, which include: • motivation • attitude • accountability • presentation • teamwork • time management • adaptability • stress management • confidence.

In today’s job market employers are looking for people with strong soft skills!

Basic food safety – This is offered with curriculum from Alberta Health Services. We will go over topics such as sanitization, food preparation/storage, and proper dishwashing technics. When successful in getting 80% on a 30 question test you can receive a certificate that you can add to your resume. We will alternate between Soft skills and Food safety.

Is this program of interest to you? Please contact Marilyn Calkins for more info


What is Connect Home Cooks all about?

– Learning how to order groceries online

– Cooking with other Deaf learners

– Meal planning with low-cost freezer meals

– Having fun with cooking!


Are you interested in this program? Contact Marilyn Calkins for more info!



This class will help you with all the information needed to write your Class 7 Learner’s Licence exam

  • Taught in ASL
  • Access to Clear Language Guide book and flashcards
  • Interactive fun lessons
  • Access to tutoring sessions
  • Assistance booking interpreter for test

Is this program of interest to you? contact Marilyn Calkins for more information: mcalkins@connectsociety.org


ASL LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) Program

Connect Society is partnering with NorQuest to offer the ASL LINC program for Deaf immigrants. The ASL LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) will focus on the students’ goals with an employment focus. It will also include tutoring from an experienced Deaf instructor. The program will run for three semesters of 11 weeks.

Fall semester: September 26 – December 9

Classes will be on-site at Connect Society Mondays and Wednesdays 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm and Fridays from 9:30 am – 12:30pm

Is this program of interest to you? contact Marilyn Calkins for more information: mcalkins@connectsociety.org


Contacting the Program

Marilyn Calkins

Marilyn Calkins

Literacy Coordinator


Contact Marilyn: