Okanagan Valley Association of the Deaf obo Others v. St. John Society (British Columbia and Yukon) and St. John Ambulance Canada

CASE UPDATE – February 14, 2020

The Okanagan Valley Association of the Deaf (OVAD) has settled its human rights complaint against St. John Ambulance.

The Okanagan Valley Association of the Deaf is very happy to announce that it has resolved its human rights complaint against St. John Ambulance.

The complaint was about the fact that St. John Ambulance did not provide Sign interpretation at its first aid courses. OVAD filed the complaint on behalf of all Deaf people in BC who use Sign language and had been impacted by St John Ambulance’s denial of interpretation services.

As part of the settlement, St. John Ambulance has agreed to the following:

  • They will pay for Sign interpretation at up to six BC first aid courses in 2020, and up to five courses in subsequent years. These are called the “Interpreted Sessions.”
  • They will make a fund of $3500 available to pay for interpretation services for Deaf individuals who are unable to attend one of the five interpreted sessions. Access to this fund is by “Special Request.”

The locations for the Interpreted Sessions in 2020 will be announced soon.

OVAD’s authorized representative for the case is Gordon J. Rattray. You can contact him by email at gords@shaw.ca or by text at 250-491-2532 with any questions you may have.

Read the complaint here.

Read a preliminary Tribunal decision about the timeliness of the complaint here.

Media coverage of the case

Human rights complaint against St. John Ambulance over sign language will proceed
Tessa Vikander StarMetro Vancouver | June 27, 2018

https://www.thestar.com/vancouver/2018/06/27/human-rights-complaint-against-st-john-ambulance-over-sign-language-will-proceed.html

Deaf association files human rights complaint against St. John Ambulance
Jaimie Kehler CBC News | January 27, 2018

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/deaf-association-okanagan-st-john-ambulance-1.4506633

Deaf Burnaby resident fed up with St. John Ambulance not providing ASL interpreter for course

Cornelia Naylor | Burnaby Now | August 30, 2018

https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/2018/08/30/st-john-ambulance-deaf-human-rights-complaint/