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Apartments for Deaf and partly Deaf opening in Gatineau

A new building in Gatineau, Que., will combine custom-built community housing with a support centre for people who are deaf and partly deaf when it opens in June.

The building in the Hautes-Plaines neighbourhood opens in June and will include 18 units with adaptations such as warning lights for fire alarms and doorbells instead of audio cues.

It will offer support services in the basement and also has space for activities, according to association de l’ouïe de l’Outaouais (ADOO), which advocates for the deaf and partly deaf in the Outaouais, and is managing the project.

“It’s important to have an apartment with nearby services so they’re not isolated for days and weeks,” said ADOO’s acting director, Rana Annous, in a French interview.

I’ve had lots of frustration over the last two years when it comes to communicating with my neighbours,” said Michel Portelance, one of the building’s future residents, through a sign-language interpreter.

“When I move in here, I’ll be happy.”

The $5.3-million project has been in the works for five years and was funded by private donations, fundraising efforts, the local health agency and the city.

ADOO said it’s the third of this type of building to open in the province.