In 1991, a group of concerned community members came together to discuss a lack of standards and guidelines in the Deaf adult learning community. They eventually formed a network of literacy workers and community members and began to share information and work collaboratively. It was in this way that Goal: Ontario Literacy for Deaf People came into being.
Members of the founding group are Chrissy Ehrlich, Wanda Berrette, Louise Ford and Armand Brennan. Bernadette Beaupre came on board from Essential Skills Ontario – ESO (formerly OLC – Ontario Literacy Coalition) as a consultant.
It was under auspices of the Essential Skills Ontario (formerly OLC) a volunteer organization established a steering committee to develop the bylaws, and an operational plan for GOLD. During this time, The Francophone and Native streams were part of ESO for a few years with the support from MET –Ministry of Education and Training before branching out on their own.
Bernadette Beaupre from ESO was a strong ally and supported the idea for GOLD to run on its own. At the beginning of inception, GOLD provided practitioner training to the Deaf literacy programs in Ontario. At that time, there was no staff running this, instead the founding group organized the training event.
In 1992 to 1994, GOLD hired Frank O Sullivan as a Coordinator, 21 hours a week working from home. Frank decided to pursue other employment opportunities; GOLD had to look for a replacement.
Cheryl Wilson was hired to work for GOLD, 21 hours a week in Ottawa. At that time she was working for CRCHI (Capital Region Centre for the Hearing Impaired) which is now known as ODC –Ottawa Deaf Centre.
Then in 1996, Cheryl decided to move to Orangeville and made a request to the GOLD board to move GOLD business as well which was approved. Cheryl continued to work at home part-time for GOLD.
Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) under MTCU was formed and GOLD received ongoing funding to establish GOLD as an organization. The board decided to hire an Executive Director, on a full time basis in 1997. At the same time GOLD was incorporated in the fall of 1997 with new set of bylaws.
Few months later, GOLD board decided to set up an office in Brampton for the very first time. A year later, GOLD decided to move to a bigger office with a 3 year lease with 8 staff on board doing various projects.
When the lease expired in 2001, GOLD decided to move to Mississauga to share bigger office space with Ontario Cultural Society of the Deaf – OCSD, at 2345 Stanfield Rd. for 3 ½years.
When the lease was up, GOLD board has decided not to renew the lease and looked elsewhere for smaller office space. For the 5th time, GOLD moved to 420 Britannia Road, Unit 109.
At present, DLI has 2 full-time and 2 part-time employees.