Our Team

Lisa Garrett has a passion for delivering inclusive programming that helps to advance language development in babies using signing and evidence-based practices. She has studied ASL at the university level and is conversationally fluent in sign language, backed by extensive experience in the disability community and course work in early childhood education.

Lisa engages in ongoing training about language deprivation and builds, delivers, and supports programming that helps caregivers to children understand the importance of early interventions. She is down-to-earth and approachable, making her class environments fun, dynamic, and meaningful for achieving family outcomes that support intentional parenting practices.

With more than 8 years of experience teaching signing for babies combined with her unique perspective as an end-of-life storyteller for palliative care patients, and as a Deaf community ally and advocate, Lisa is the ideal practitioner to join you on your child caregiving journey.

Today, Lisa is offering classes in smaller communities in the Ottawa Valley with limited access to signing services and supports. She does this through strong relationships with non-profit organizations and by continuing her work in advocacy for Deaf community accessibility to community life and opportunities.

Lisa Garrett

Sarina Elliott is a Deaf ASL Instructor for Black Bear Healing Home.

Sarina (she/her or they/them) is a Deaf Ojibway Anishinaabe-kwe with ancestral ties to Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation. They grew up hard of hearing in Toronto and learned ASL at the age of 10. Sarina (nickname Shay) attended a number of schools, and graduated from E.C. Drury School for the Deaf. They have a Certificate in Pathways to Indigenous Empowerment from Algonquin College, and has completed ASL instructor training for the Signing Naturally curriculum levels 1-5 from Canadian Hearing Services. Sarina loves working with both hearing and Deaf people, and has a passion for sharing her language with people of all ages. Her vision is a world where hearing and Deaf people are able to communicate with ease.

Sarina Elliott

Simone Edwards-Forde is a Deaf Storyteller for Black Bear Healing Home.

Simone has lived in Ottawa since 2006 and works as a literacy teacher. She also teaches sign language for babies through BirthSmarter. Simone was born in St. Kitts (a Caribbean Island) and moved to Montreal when she was 3. She attended Mackay Centre School in Montreal until she was 16. She then moved to Toronto and attended E. C. Drury School for the Deaf where she graduated in 1999. She attended the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, New York and graduated with a degree in Business Technology in 2004. She graduated from Algonquin College with a certificate in Photography Techniques in 2022. In her free time, she enjoys taking pictures, travelling, crafting, and camping.

Simone Edwards-Forde

To contact any of our team, you can email Lisa@BlackBearHealingHome.com or phone and text 613-558-3199.

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Contact info

Lisa Garrett
Email | 613-558-3199
Phone or text

The black bear with flowers from the logo for Black Bear Signing for Babies
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