Many newcomers to Canada and to London have challenges communicating in our city.

But imagine the the challenge for those who don't understand English and who are also deaf.

It's a huge barrier, that was closed with a celebration on Wednesday.

The first participants in the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program were on hand for the official launch of the program supporting them.

Operated by the Canadian Hearing Society, with the support of government agencies and a local church, it was created due to a growing need in London.

While the number of deaf and language-challenged immigrants in our city remains small - those here - often feel greatly isolated.

One participant in the new program spoke to us through an interperter about his intial experience in the Forest City.

Unable to speak English or French, or understand North American Sign Language, he admits it was frightening.

Madan Gurung says "When I was in Nepal I felt very afraid. Moving to Canada, although it was a different country for me, I felt free and I felt happy. After I'm done learning here in the LINC program my goal is to become a citizen and then I would really like to go to university and study there."