Program and Funding Guidelines

Goal

The Ontario-Québec Langues des Signes Québécoise Program for the Université du Québec à Montréal’s Visual Interpretation Program (“The Ontario-Québec LSQ Program”), is designed to increase the number of Langues des Signes Québécoise (LSQ) community interpreters in Ontario, as well as to increase training opportunities for Ontarians interested in pursuing LSQ interpretation as a career.

Definition

Each year up to five positions are available for Ontario residents to participate in the Ontario-Québec LSQ Program while attending the Université du Québec à Montréal’s (UQAM) Visual Interpretation Program. Not every applicant who applies to the Ontario-Quebec LSQ Program will be accepted and receive funding under the program. Candidates who are accepted to the program must agree to return to Ontario within six months of completion of the program of study to work for twenty-four consecutive months as a community LSQ interpreter in a part of the province considered by the Ministry of Community and Social Services (‘the Ministry”) to be underserved.

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

Eligibility

To be eligible to be considered for admission to the Ontario-Québec LSQ Program, applicants must:

  1. Be at least 21 years of age;
  2. Be a permanent resident of Ontario (resided in Ontario for at least the past twelve consecutive months, not including residence in the province for the purpose of attending an Ontario postsecondary educational institution);
  3. Provide valid proof of citizenship or permanent resident status;
  4. Meet all of the admission requirements of UQAM’s Visual Interpretation Program; and,
  5. Agree to enter into a return-of-service agreement with the Province of Ontario upon admission to UQAM. In signing the return-of-service agreement, a participant in the program is committed to return to Ontario within six months of completion of the program of study to work consecutively for twenty-four months as a community LSQ interpreter in a part of the province considered by the Ministry to be underserved.

Application Procedure

To be considered for admission to the Ontario-Québec LSQ Program, applicants must follow two separate application procedures:

  1. Application to the Visual Interpretation Program at UQAM:

    Applicants must apply directly to UQAM in order to be considered for the positions set aside for participants in the Ontario-Québec LSQ Program. UQAM is solely responsible for setting requirements for admission and selecting the applicants who will be offered positions. Applicants should consult the UQAM website for program entry requirements, application procedures and deadlines.


  2. Application to the Ontario-Québec LSQ Program:

    Applicants must complete a Notice of Application form and submit it to the Ministry, together with any supporting documentation, at the address listed on page 5 of this document by the specified deadline. For the Notice of Application to be considered complete, proof of permanent residency in Ontario (e.g., Ontario driver's license, OHIP card, residential lease or purchase contract, vehicle registration), as well as valid proof of citizenship or permanent resident status must be included with the Notice of Application. Photocopies of relevant documents are acceptable.

    The Ministry will provide UQAM with a list of applicants that the Ministry considers eligible to participate in the Ontario-Québec LSQ program. UQAM is responsible for reviewing applications and inviting eligible applicants to write the entrance exam. Upon review of exam results, UQAM will send letters of admission to successful applicants.

Grant Assistance

Grant assistance is available to offset tuition, textbook, travel and accommodation expenses for all students accepted to The Ontario-Québec LSQ Program up to the maximum amounts set out in these Program and Funding Guidelines.

To qualify for program grants, students must be accepted to UQAM’s Visual Interpretation program and sign a return-of service agreement acknowledging their commitment to return to Ontario within six months of completion of the program to work as a community LSQ interpreter for two consecutive years in a part of the province considered by the Ministry to be underserved.

Grant assistance for the Ontario-Quebec LSQ Program is subject to funding being authorized by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for the fiscal year in which the disbursement is to be made.

Taxation

Depending on the amount of funding received, grant assistance may be taxable. Grant recipients will be issued a T4A slip at the end of every calendar year in which they received payment.

Grant Conditions

No grant monies will be provided to students in advance of entering the program. At the end of each semester successfully completed, the Ministry will reimburse students for the tuition, textbook, travel and accommodation expenses properly paid during the semester, up to the maximum amounts set out in these Program and Funding Guidelines.

Reimbursement is subject to submission of the following documents by the student to the satisfaction of the Ministry:

  • Official UQAM transcript verifying that all courses have been successfully completed for the semester.
  • Statement of Expenses for Grant Recipients Claim Form, including original and itemized receipts for travel, accommodation and textbooks for the semester.
  • Copy of tuition receipt, identifying that courses have been paid in full.

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

Education Assistance

Students will be reimbursed in full for the cost of tuition to attend UQAM’s Visual Interpretation Program, pending submission of the aforementioned documents, and in accordance with the Grant Conditions listed above.

With the submission of original receipts, students may also obtain grant assistance to offset the price of textbooks required as part of the program.

Accommodation Assistance

Students are eligible to be reimbursed for accommodation expenses of up to $5000 per semester, to offset the costs of temporarily residing in Montreal. This is based on an average accommodation cost of $100/night. All accommodation claims must be reasonable and will be reviewed by the Ministry for reasonableness.

The Ministry allows students to determine accommodations that best meet their needs while enrolled in the program (i.e., short term rental, hotel, etc.).

Students must submit original and itemized receipts for lodging in order to receive reimbursement for accommodation expenses. If accommodation is shared with another student in the program (i.e., double occupancy hotel room), only one student may claim the expense.

Only those lodging expenses incurred in Montreal, taking place during the academic term, will be considered for reimbursement (with the exception of relocation caused by field placements in the final semester of study).

Travel Assistance

Students are eligible to receive the lesser of $0.41 per kilometre for the round trip distance of traveling from their home residence to Montreal to attend weekly classes at UQAM, or, the cost of a roundtrip ticket.

For example, the round trip distance from Ottawa to Montreal is approximately 400km, making the total available funding per trip $164. 400km x $0.41= $164

If a student traveled by bus from Ottawa to Montreal for $100, they would only be eligible to receive reimbursement for $100, as that is the lesser of the two costs ($164 versus $100).

Students may determine their preferred mode of travel (e.g., car, bus, train, etc.); however students must use the most practical and economical means of travel. Students must submit original and itemized receipts for transportation in order to receive reimbursement (e.g., train or bus ticket, etc.). Should students carpool, only one student may submit an original and itemized receipt for reimbursement. There is no reimbursement for gas or car maintenance.

Upon the completion of each semester, grant assistance for travel can be claimed for each weekly roundtrip to Montreal for classes.

Other Grants and Awards

If other grants or student awards are received, including scholarships and bursaries, for the same purposes as grant assistance offered through this program (travel, accommodation and education), the student must provide this information on the Statement of Expenses for Grant Recipients claim form. The total amount of grant assistance for which the student is eligible will be adjusted accordingly to reflect other grant assistance sources.

Loans under the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) do not need to be declared.

It is the student’s responsibility to inform an OSAP program administrator of the grants received as a part of this program.

Return of Service Period

As students will receive a salary throughout the twenty-four months in which they complete their return of service, no program grants are provided during this period.

Each student’s salary will be determined by the organization with which their return of service is completed. The Ministry is not involved in determining student salaries during the return of service period.

Payment

  1. Upon the successful completion of each semester, students seeking grant assistance shall submit a Statement of Expenses for Grant Recipients Claim Form, outlining costs incurred for travel, accommodation, textbooks, and tuition, up to the maximum amount allowed within each grant category. All documents must be submitted to the Ministry within two months of completing a semester. In addition, students must submit supporting documents (i.e., original and itemized receipts and transcripts) in order for their claim to be validated.

    The Statement of Expenses for Grant Recipients Claim Form and supporting documents are to be submitted to the Ministry at the address listed on page 5. All documents must be completed to the satisfaction of the Ministry.


  2. Upon approval of the Statement of Expenses for Grant Recipients Claim Form, the Ministry will remit payment to the student by direct deposit for approved costs.


  3. Students must complete steps one and two upon the successful completion of each semester in which students are seeking grant assistance.

Other Terms and Conditions

Resignation or Dismissal

If a grant recipient resigns or is dismissed from the program of study, no further payment under the Grant Assistance Program will be made. Students are responsible for repaying to the Ministry in full all grant assistance received prior to their resignation or dismissal in accordance with the terms set out in the Return of Service Agreement.

If a grant recipient terminates their return of service prior to completing their full twenty-four months of employment, they will be responsible for repaying the Ministry a portion of the total grant monies received, commensurate with the amount of time spent completing their return of service.

Interruption of Studies

If a grant recipient decides to interrupt the scheduled completion of the program and resume the program at a later date, the Ministry must be notified in writing as soon as possible. Payments may resume once the student resumes the program.

General Information

It generally takes between four and six weeks to process a satisfactory Statement of Expenses for Grant Recipients Claim Form after the student has provided all of the necessary documents.

For more information, please contact the Ministry of Community and Social Services at the following address:

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