Frequently Asked Questions

What is LSQ and what do LSQ Interpreters do?

Langue des Signes Québécoise (LSQ) is a form of sign language used to communicate by many Francophone Canadians who are Deaf, deafened or hard of hearing.

LSQ interpreters enhance communication between Francophone individuals who are Deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing and their communities.

There is currently no accredited LSQ training body in Ontario. However, as of 2012 the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) has set aside up to five seats per year for Ontario students.

When and where do UQAM classes take place?

Classes are offered part-time at the main UQAM campus in Montreal, on evenings and weekends. Classes typically begin on Friday evening and run throughout Saturday, ending on Sunday afternoon. Occasionally courses are offered midweek in the evenings as well. A full course schedule is available on the UQAM website.

Is there grant assistance available to me to take this program?

Yes. All participants in the Ontario-Québec LSQ Program are eligible to receive grant assistance to offset the costs of tuition, textbooks, travel and accommodation up to the maximum amounts set out in the Program and Funding Guidelines.

Is this grant assistance available to residents of other provinces?

No. Only Ontario residents over age 21 are eligible to apply to take part in the Ontario-Québec LSQ Program, including seeking grant assistance.

Do I need to know LSQ to be admitted to the program?

Yes. A basic knowledge of LSQ is required. Once UQAM has reviewed your application, eligible students will be invited to write a test on basic French and LSQ comprehension.

Will I have to complete a field placement?

Yes, all students must complete a field placement in their final semester. This placement is different from your two year return of service, which is completed upon graduation.

Students negotiate their own placements with the assistance of UQAM Visual Interpretation Program staff. Ontario students are allowed and encouraged to complete their placements in Ontario.

Grant assistance is available to support students during their field placements. Should travel and living arrangements change as a result, the Statement of Expenses for Grant Recipients Claim Form should reflect these changes.

Can I claim grant assistance if I live with family who already reside in Montreal?

No. You will not receive any grant assistance to help offset costs related to residing in a family member’s home in Montreal (i.e., parents, grandparents, etc.). You must be able to present an original and itemized receipt for your accommodation costs.

Where will I be placed to complete my return of service?

When you sign the Return of Service Agreement, you give your consent to allow the government to determine the location of your two-year return of service.

Placements will be based on areas of Ontario where, in the opinion of the ministry, there are shortages of LSQ interpreters. This could include Toronto, Ottawa or Sudbury.

What if I decide not to return to Ontario after graduation?

Should you not complete any of your return of service, you will be responsible for reimbursing the Government of Ontario for all grant assistance paid to you. If you chose not to complete your full twenty-four months of employment, you will be responsible for repaying the Ministry a portion of the total grant assistance you received, commensurate with the amount of time spent completing your return of service.

When do I receive my grant assistance?

At the end of each semester that you successfully complete, the ministry will reimburse you for the tuition, textbook, travel and accommodation expenses you have properly paid during the semester, up to the maximum amounts set out in the Program and Funding Guidelines. Reimbursement is subject to a review of your transcript by the ministry to ensure that all courses from the previous semester have been successfully completed, as well as review of your Statement of Expenses for Grant Recipients Claim Form.

In order to receive grant assistance, you must also provide original and itemized receipts for your travel and accommodation costs and a copy of your tuition receipt. All documents must be completed to the ministry’s satisfaction.

All documents must be submitted to the ministry within two months of completing a semester.

Can I qualify for OSAP in addition to receiving the grant assistance provided through the program?

Yes. Any loans received through OSAP do not affect your ability to receive grant assistance through this program. It is your responsibility to inform an OSAP program administrator of the grants you will receive as a part of this program and your OSAP funding may be adjusted accordingly.

Can I live in Ontario and still take part in the Ontario-Québec LSQ Program?

Yes. Many students who attend UQAM‘s Visual Interpretation program continue to work part time. Should you be accepted into the program and wish to work in Ontario and travel to Montreal, the government will help offset your travel and accommodation costs in accordance with the Program and Funding Guidelines.

When are program applications due?

Both your signed Notice of Application and your UQAM program application must be submitted by March 1 of the year in which you intend to begin the program. Late applications will not be accepted.

Is it possible to begin the UQAM LSQ program mid way through the year?

No. The program begins in September, with no option for a January enrolment.

How will I find my return of service job placement?

You are not responsible for finding your own return of service placement after graduating. By signing the Return of Service Agreement, you consent to allow the government to determine the location of your job placement for twenty-four months upon graduating from the program.

Am I able to receive grant assistance during my return of service?

No. During your 24-month return of service you will receive a salary from the organization with which you are employed and will not be eligible to receive accommodation or travel grants from this program.

How many students are enrolled in the program?

In 2010, 25 students enrolled in the first year of UQAM’s Visual Interpretation program. As of 2012, UQAM has set aside up to five seats per year for Ontario students.

What happens if I fail a course?

If you fail a course, you will not be eligible to receive grant assistance for the semester in which the failing grade occurred. Once you have retaken the course and provided a transcript with proof of the passing grade, the Statement of Expenses for Grant Recipients Claim Form which you submitted from the semester in which the course was failed will be reviewed and funding for eligible costs may be remitted.

What happens if I drop a course?

Students must complete all courses in order to graduate from UQAM’s Visual Interpretation Program. Should you drop a course and retake it in a subsequent semester, the same process outlined for failing a course will apply.

What if I am required to take an upgrade course as a condition of my acceptance to the program?

If you are required to take an upgrade course as a condition of your acceptance to the program, you are eligible to receive grant assistance for your travel, accommodation, text books and tuition costs, only if this course cannot be taken during the regular academic year (i.e. September to April). If the course is offered during the academic year, you may apply for grant assistance to offset tuition costs.

A Statement of Expenses for Grant Recipients Claim Form should be submitted within two months of completing the upgrade course. Grant assistance will be remitted to you upon proof of completion of your first semester of the official program (fall semester), along with your first semester’s grant assistance.

How do I determine the kilometre distance from my home to the UQAM downtown campus?

The ministry considers Google Maps a valid tool for determining the road distance from your home to the UQAM downtown campus. By entering your home address as the starting point on your map, and UQAM’s downtown campus address as your destination, you will determine your one-way kilometre distance. By doubling this number you will determine your total round trip distance. If you multiply the total roundtrip distance by $0.41, you will determine the amount of travel grant assistance you may be eligible for each trip to Montreal, unless your transportation costs (i.e., train or bus ticket) are less costly than this amount.

Any additional questions can be directed to:

The Ontario-Québec LSQ Program
Community and Developmental Services Branch
Ministry of Community and Social Services

Hepburn Block, 4th Floor
80 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, ON M7A 1E9
Telephone: 416 327-4971
Fax: 416 325-5554
Email: lsq@ontario.ca

Learn more

Visit the website of the Université du Québec à Montréal to learn more about the Visual Interpretation Program and how to apply.