Connect Society’s Stay and Study program offers residential supports in a safe and nurturing home environment to Deaf and hard of hearing students from outside of the Edmonton area while students attend specialized educational programs in the city. The program offers a language enriched environment, qualified professionals, positive role models, and help for students to stay connected with their natural families.

Who is eligible for Stay and Study?

  • Children and youth between the ages of 6 and 18 years with a diagnosed hearing loss, including mild to profound losses, and those with cochlear implants
  • Students must have school placements confirmed by the receiving school and the program must be able to make a reasonable accommodation for the student

Is Stay and Study funding available?

  • First Nations students can be sponsored by school boards, First Nations communities or Indian & Northern Affairs Canada
  • Other students outside of Edmonton are sponsored by individual school boards

Connect Society will work with families to secure any available funding from the province and/or local school boards.  There is no direct parental financial responsibility to access supports.

What does Stay and Study offer?

The program provides “Host families” who will facilitate student’s language development, life skill competence and participation in all aspects of family and community life.  host families will develop and maintain an open and collaborative relationship with the natural family.

The program supports both the natural and host family to develop and meet each student’s educational and social goals.

Host family support:
  • Regular home visits
  • Recreation and cultural opportunities
  • A support network of host families
  • Ongoing training, including child development, communication skills and community resources
Natural family support:
  • Monthly communication and updates on the child’s progress
  • Regular meetings with the student’s teachers and reports to parents to promote the educational goals chosen by parents and students
Student support:
  • Individualized life-skills planning to challenge students to be self-directed
  • Links to other resources and qualified professionals according to need
  • A focus on language development and cultural diversity
  • Transition planning to foster independence on leaving school

Contacting the Program

Kelly Ilkiw

Kelly Ilkiw

Community Living Support Services Manager / Stay and Study Program Coordinator


Contact Kelly: