Who are we



One day, Michel Turgeon has a telephone conversation with an HIV-positive friend from New York. This friend recommends that Turgeon provide HIV/AIDS information and prevention for the Deaf and Hard of hearing community of Quebec. Recognizing the critical needs of the Deaf and Hard of hearing community, Michel Turgeon decides to create an organization to fight this epidemic.


L’Association des Bonnes Gens Sourds (now called l’Association des Gais et Lesbiennes Sourds) organizes various social activities for its members, becomes actively involved in HIV/AIDS prevention, and works on organizing conferences and workshops on HIV/AIDS prevention.

November 1989

A conference is organized jointly by l’Association des Bonnes Gens Sourds (ABGS), le Committee Sida Aide Montréal (CSAM) and a group of professionals and volunteers working with the Montreal Deaf community. It is a great success, with about 300 people in attendance.

July 1991

An HIV/AIDS prevention committee for Deaf and Hard of hearing people is formed. Initially the committee is associated with ABGS, but later branches off into its own organization, because the ABGS is more involved with leisure activities. However, the two organizations remain closely linked. The goals of the prevention committee consist of organizing and presenting HIV/AIDS prevention conferences throughout Quebec. This committee decides to focus on young adults, and meets with them in schools and community gatherings.

April 30, 1992

Michel Turgeon is the founding member and the first coordinator of la Coalition Sida des Sourds du Québec (CSSQ). Shortly afterwards, he is named Executive Director and sets up a Board of Directors of this new organization. In order to meet the health promotion requirements of Health and Welfare Canada, two people with HIV/AIDS – one from Eastern Quebec and one from Western Quebec – have to be named to the Board. It goes without saying that the identities of these Board members must remain strictly confidential.

July 2, 1992

La Coalition Sida des Sourds du Québec is officially incorporated by the Directeur des institutions financières (currently the Registraire des entreprises du Québec) and receives its letters patent.

July 1993

The CSSQ becomes a member of the planning committee of the Education for the Deaf National Conference on AIDS and the Los Angeles Deaf Community, which takes place in Los Angeles, California.

November 1993

A programme of anonymous HIV testing for Deaf and Hard of hearing people is established in conjunction with the CLSC Métro.

February 1994

The CSSQ moves to 3600 Hôtel-de-Ville Avenue. Before July 1991, the CSSQ office had been located in Michel Turgeon’s home.

April 1994

A video entitled “Le Sida frappe aussi les Sourds” (AIDS Also Affects the Deaf) is released.

February 1995

A Code of Ethics is adopted for CSSQ employees and volunteers.

July 1995

The CSSQ hosts an event in Montreal – The AIDS Memorial Quilt Exhibit, a mosaic of hope in honour of those who have died of AIDS.

March 1996

The first Party-O-Thon, an annual fundraiser for the CSSQ, is held. Since its inception, this event has always been a huge success.

June 1996

The CSSQ office moves to the Lafontaine Building on Sherbrooke Street in Montreal.

April 1997

The CSSQ begins circulating a kit entitled Les Sourds se protègent bien (Deaf People Protect Themselves) containing illustrated handbooks and posters, aimed at 12-to-25-year-old Deaf and Hard of hearing students. They also start the Info-AIDS TTY hotline.

October 1997

The document Formation de multiplicateurs (Training Multiplying Agents) is released in Western Quebec.

March 1998

Du Sida aux mains (From AIDS to HANDS), a HIV/AIDS dictionary in la Langue des Signes Québécoise (LSQ) is released.

June 1998

The CSSQ moves to the Plessis Building on Plessis Street, in Montreal.

October 1998 to March 1999

Quebec interpreters are trained on HIV/AIDS terminology at the Service régional d’interprétariat de Québec – SRIQ (Quebec City Regional Interpreting Service).

November 1998

Michel Turgeon participates in the First International Conference on Deaf Awareness in Bermuda and gives a presentation entitled Deaf and Hard of hearing people and AIDS.

October 1999

The CSSQ starts providing Sexe veut savoir (Want to learn about sex) workshops.

May 1999

The CSSQ is featured on the Info-Sourds program on the Community television channel.

May 2000

The Deux Rives Theatre Troupe presents a production of the play Deux pères aux as, in which Deaf actors are paired with interpreters. All proceeds are donated to the CSSQ.


The CSSQ creates a document entitled Étude de besoins (Study of Needs) to address the needs of the Deaf and Hard of hearing community, and improve services.

January 2001

A Volunteer Appreciation event (Fête des bénévoles) is held.

May 2001

The Deux Rives Theatre Troupe presents a production of the play Veillée funèbre, in which Deaf actors are paired with interpreters. Proceeds are donated to the CSSQ and the Maison des femmes sourdes de Montréal (MFSM).

September 2001

Marcel Maroist hosts Silencio, a silent auction, as well as a fashion show featuring clothing by fashion designers Nadya Toto and Jean Airoldi. The proceeds benefit the CSSQ.

November 2001

A casino night is held in honour of World AIDS Day, with proceeds to benefit the CSSQ.

April 2002

Michel Turgeon begins training volunteers in Montreal, Quebec City, and outlying regions of Quebec. This project is still ongoing.

May 2002

The CSSQ celebrates its 10th anniversary.

July 2003

The CSSQ sets up an information booth on HIV/AIDS and STBBI at the World Federation of the Deaf in Montreal, thanks to the MFSM, which agrees to share its booth with the CSSQ.

April 2005

The CSSQ sets up an information booth on HIV/AIDS and STBBI at the Deaf-Expo III held at the Centre des loisirs des Sourds de Montréal (CLSM) in Montreal.

Annik Boissonneault, project leader, conducts a study on the needs of DMSM (Deaf men who have sex with men) in order to create a glossary of terms on male sexuality.

April 2006

The CSSQ sets up an information booth on HIV/AIDS and STBBI at Deaf-Expo IV held at the CLSM.

May 2006

Nathalie Bouchard organizes Visual Rally I to benefit the CSSQ. This event is a definite success.

July 2006

Donald Pilling, president of the CSSQ Board of Directors, and Marc-André Bernier set up an information booth on HIV/AIDS and STBBI at the Canadian Conference of the Deaf in Quebec City.

August 2006

The CSSQ sets up an information booth at the 16th AIDS Conference in Toronto.

September 2006

The CSSQ launches its website.

The CSSQ publishes a new Glossary in Langue des Signes Québécoise (LSQ), within the context of the DMSM project.

The CSSQ distributes flyers in LSQ informing Deaf and Hard of hearing people about the dosages and side effects of HIV/AIDS medications.

April 2007

The CSSQ sets up an information booth on HIV/AIDS and STBBI at Deaf-Expo V, held at the CLSM.

June 2007

Visual Rally II, organized by Nathalie Bouchard, is another resounding success.

The CSSQ begins circulating three descriptive cards on Deaf Safe Sex (Sécurisexe Sourd).

July 2007

Michel Turgeon is awarded the Man of the Year 2007 prize, by the Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf (RAD) at a conference held in Atlanta, Georgia.

December 1, 2007

The CSSQ celebrates its 15th anniversary at the CLSM.

April 2008

The CSSQ sets up an information booth on HIV/AIDS and STBBI at Deaf-Expo VI¸ held at the CLSM.

August 2008

Donald Pilling represents the CSSQ at the 17th International AIDS Conference in Mexico.

September 21, 2008

A new website is launched.

September 5, 2009

L’Association des gais et lesbiennes sourds (AGLS) awards the Prix éponyme to Michel Turgeon for “exceptional commitment of a volunteer who made an outstanding contribution to the development of this association.” As a result, Turgeon is named an honorary member of the AGLS.

November 15, 2009

Michel Turgeon is awarded a special mention in Entrepreneurship at a dinner in his honour held at the Société culturelle québécoise des Sourds (SCQS). The Entrepreneurship article is intended to highlight valuable contributions made to the Quebec Deaf community by a person, group or association thanks to a product, service or enterprise.

June 3, 2010

Michel Turgeon is awarded a trophy at the 2010 Homage to Heroes organized by the Farha Foundation, for his commitment to the Deaf and Hard of hearing community in the fight against HIV/AIDS. He is named a Soldier of Hope, together with seven hearing award-winners.

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