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ODF was established in 2001 with the purpose of supporting charitable objectives through long-term, sustainable sources of funding. Overall, the Foundation strives to enable Deaf people to participate as positive, contributing members of society in Canada and abroad.


ODF’s charitable focus is based on two operating principles: 1) It is organized around the funds model in which the funds generate the investment income in order to fulfill their charitable objectives; and 2) Giving financial support directly to recognized charities is preferred to hands-on involvement in charitable activities. The funds are outlined as follows:

ASL Resources and Research Fund

This Fund promotes research in Canadian ASL-English bilingual-bicultural education involving Deaf children, as well as the development of bilingual-bicultural products. Currently, the Foundation is revising the award application procedures to oversee the annual research awards.

Celebrating Deaf Culture Fund

To promote a better appreciation of cultural works of art, this Fund now supports the new annual ASL Poetry and Story Contest for Deaf and hard of hearing students at the high school level. In the future and within its financial means, it will support cultural art initiatives by the local Deaf community in the Region of Waterloo.

Deaf Hamilton Community Fund

This Fund supports charitable, cultural, and educational events in the Deaf community in the Greater Hamilton Area. For the first time, it sponsored events held during the 2019 International Week of the Deaf in Hamilton, ON.

Future-building Fund

The long-term goal of this endowment fund is to provide annual funds to the Ontario Cultural Society of the Deaf (OCSD), its beneficiary, to operate its charitable activities from an office setting. This goal is expected to be reached late in 2024.

ODF Community-building Fund

Established in 2021, the goal of this Fund is to support projects that have a lasting, strategic benefit to the well-being of the Deaf community in Ontario, in accordance with the Foundation’s charitable objects. When the Fund achieves its annual investment revenue target, it will be able to provide project funding for initiatives with the potential of making to a positive and incremental impact upon the Deaf community and society.


The annual ASL Poetry and ASL Story Contest has been launched to encourage Deaf students enrolled in high schools in Ontario to showcase their creative ASL skills to promote a lasting appreciation of ASL story-telling and ASL poetry. This contest builds on the ASL as a Second Language curriculum released by the Ontario Ministry of Education in 2021.