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Mentoring deafblind employees

DBI World Conference 2019
Accessibility stream: Concurrent session 4B
Presenter: Christopher Woodfill
Topic: Mentoring deafblind employees

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Mentoring deafblind employees

  1. 1. Employment Mentoring for Deaf-Blind Christopher C. Woodfill, MA, MS DBI Conference Gold Coast, Australia August 2019 1
  2. 2. Presenter’s roles in Deaf-Blind Employment • Oversees all aspects of employment-related programs at Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) as its Associate Executive Director. • Community Service Program in New York and Los Angeles • Vocational Services Department at the Center • Summer Youth Vocational Program/M~Power Program • Employment seminars/trainings • DeafBlind Specialist (8) • Coordinates of the Professional Leadership and Learning Institute program at HKNC. • Serves on several taskforces on employment-related topics for Deaf-Blind individuals as an expert on Deaf-Blind employment. 2
  3. 3. Professional Leadership and Learning Institute (PLLI) • $450,000 grant funded by the Lavelle Foundation. • Focused on providing training/experience to Deaf-Blind individuals wanting to work within the Deaf-Blind rehabilitation field. • Three months internship. • Competitive selection process. • 18 selected over the past four years. • Mentored by the coordinator, in-house Deaf-Blind employees and community Deaf-Blind leaders. 3
  4. 4. Professional Leadership and Learning Institute (PLLI) (2) • Of 18, one is currently in the program. One was terminated. One was transferred from the program into rehabilitation training program. 15 have completed the program. • Of 15, 11 are gainfully employed in a variety of fields such as Braille teaching, rehabilitation/independent living teaching, assistive technology training, advocacy training among several areas of Deaf-Blind rehabilitation field. Some had developed interesting second jobs such as massage therapist, debt collection agent and public relations associate. • Of four not yet gainfully employed, two have returned to university studies to become a vocational rehabilitation counselor. Two are still looking for work. 4
  5. 5. Overview of Employment Mentoring Curriculum • Specifically designed for Deaf-Blind individuals being mentored by preferably a successful Deaf-Blind role model. • Has five modules • What is Mentoring? • Responsibilities within the Mentoring Relationship • Codes of Conduct • Discussion Topics on Working being DeafBlind • Job Seeking Activities 5
  6. 6. Discussion Topics on Working being DeafBlind • Accommodations • Blind skills • Deaf skills • Disclosure • Social skills/Soft skills • Technology • Transportation • Communication 6
  7. 7. Why is mentoring necessary for DeafBlind individuals to achieve employment outcomes? 7
  8. 8. Question/Answer Session 8
  9. 9. Presenter’s Contact Information Christopher C. Woodfill, Associate Executive Director Helen Keller National Center 516-570-3635 videophone 9