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Trending Topics - HKNC Regional Representatives engaging the DB network !


Greetings everyone -  Please welcome Marilyn Trader a regional rep for the southeast region. She has been an integral part in HKNC's efforts to serve Deaf-Blind individuals with additional disabilities.  

I'm thrilled to see the big event happening in Georgia for the Southeast Region (thread by Carol Darrah) and even more opportunities finally coming around for our young adults with additional disabilities. We at the Helen Keller National Center know the importance of creative assessment tools, modifications to teaching styles to meet our diverse population and inventive ways to have successful outcomes for our students to be integrated in the community. We continue to develop other programs to meet these needs, such as the Deaf-Blind Immersion Experience.

  • What is happening locally to meet our young adults who require such creative assessments?
  • What type of vocational exploration is being done at this time for our young adults?
  • What type of collaboration is being done with our Deaf-Blind Projects to reach our young adults with intellectual disabilities?
  • Who is in your circle of support to reach these long-term goals?

Let us know.

Looking forward to this discussion.

Marilyn Trader, SE Regional Representative (KY, NC, SC, TN, PR) 

Marilyn  T

Posted Mar 8, 2018 by Marilyn T

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Comments (10)

I like how you think Patti.

Mike Fagbemi

Posted Apr 8, 2018 by Mike Fagbemi

Nice information, please thank Laura. This would make a nice little bullet type check sheet. Thank You!

Patti McGowan

Posted Apr 7, 2018 by Patti McGowan

Good Evening, so I have asked Laura Rocchio our HKNC leader in this area we are discussing. Laura has worked with our past PATH program, current DBIE, group homes and more. Her wealth of knowledge and ability to take a consumer where he/she is and provide a thorough assessment is phenomenal. Below is her response...

I always start by reviewing all the info from the IEP's and assessments with a focus on what works and is motivating to start to plan vocational experiences to try out. I try to tease out the elements of what is motivating about an activity. Once I have a work experience to try out, I add the communication info related to a schedule for the morning, greeting staff at the work site, communication on the job about what is needed, following directions and checking the outcome of the job. Using a timer to determine how much time is needed can be incorporated. An orientation to the environment and modeling the job to help establish a reference point for the task is important. Finding out the student's preferences for learning a task, stamina for performing it, interests, ability to stand, what parts he/she initiates or completes independently, adaptations needed are some examples that can offer more person-centered info for planning related work experiences. Mobility can be incorporated on the job as well as daily living skills related to dressing appropriately for the job, getting paid and handling money and making a bag lunch as some ideas. Having some job sites where the owners are receptive to having students try out work in their establishment is very helpful. Perhaps setting up a work providers network where these business owners can collaborate on this effort and be recognized by the local community for their efforts is an idea to establish real work sites. Just some thoughts. take care, laura

Marilyn  T

Posted Apr 6, 2018 by Marilyn T

Good Morning Mike and Patti, you hit the nail right on the head Patti. Showing more success stories and the process that was taken to reach these successes is what's needed. Presenting to the many providers who only have a tunnel vision of what is considered a successful closure. The more we show how this can be successful, the greater our chances are for successful outcomes across our regions! Utilizing the WIOA and how with each step, we can have this success!

Marilyn  T

Posted Apr 4, 2018 by Marilyn T

Thanks Marilyn and Mike!

Patti McGowan

Posted Mar 29, 2018 by Patti McGowan

@Patti - Yes I think you make an important point. The counselors in the states typically do not have a knowledge base about what who the Deaf-Blind job seeker is and what types of supports are needed for them to experience success. It seems as though the complexities of the disability overshadow who the person is and what types of things they can offer. I think we need to capture more stories of success told through the experiences of providers and families who forge ahead through trial and error. I see this as one way to help inspire and educate anyone listening to raise their expectations. I am excited to hear more from the regional reps as they expand their initiative to support those students who are most vulnerable to systems...

Mike Fagbemi

Posted Mar 27, 2018 by Mike Fagbemi

Patti good morning. Let me check for you on any type of tools we use but I do know it's not just one, it's a combination with many modifications along the way. We at HKNC take each student who arrives there for training individually. We take them where they are at in the moment. We don't use one type of assessment tool but multiple strategies to assist as a guide in reaching our goals for each student. For instance, the DB Immersion Expereince at HKNC is a great example of how we work with our focus person in highlighting his/her strengths and abilities to explore various work experiences, communication modifications, tools and more. Here is a link to our website showing this great program....

Check it out...

Marilyn  T

Posted Mar 26, 2018 by Marilyn T

Hi Marilyn! Do you have a few suggestions of general information about creative assessments that we could share with families?

Patti McGowan

Posted Mar 21, 2018 by Patti McGowan

Mike thank you! This is why it's important to show the providers why highlighting an individuals strengths is the key for successful outcome. None of us go into a job "just because some says it's best for us and all we can do". NO we go into a job because we enjoy it, it's what we want to do and makes us happy! Right?
We provide assistance to our counselors in our states to provide creative thinking and opportunities for our consumers. We assist in guiding them towards these creative customized goals that meet our consumers interest and abilities!

Marilyn  T

Posted Mar 14, 2018 by Marilyn T

Marilyn, one of the parents mentioned to me that their son has had more opportunities at job exploration and thanks WIOA for making that possible. However mom is finding that the opportunities are anchored around food , flowers and filth and less about what his strengths and interests are. He is not on a academic track but can see him contributing in a meaningful way with supports.

Mike Fagbemi

Posted Mar 13, 2018 by Mike Fagbemi

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