Successful Transition The Key is Self Advocacy

Successful Transition
The Key is Self Advocacy
With Jennifer White
Director, Able Opportunities, Inc.
What do you think is the
most common
challenge for deaf, HOH
and Deaf Blind students
after high school?
Self Advocacy
I ask students to list
examples of self
advocacy... most of
them can give an
example of asking for
But can not answer these questions:
What is the ADA?
Do you know how the ADA impacts
the rights of a deaf person?
Do you have information about
community resources for the deaf,
hard of hearing & deaf blind?
Do you know how to book an interpreter?
Do you have or know to develop a preferred
interpreter list?
Have you met or seen deaf, hard of hearing
and deaf blind adults in the workplace?
How do deaf people accommodate
themselves in the workplace and/or
Have you had any work experience?
For pay? How do you manage your money?
Have you taken any classes targeting
vocational skills (both trade skills and
job readiness)?
Do you understand Social Security
Have you connected with student disability
services at the college you plan to attend?
Do you see a clear plan
in the IEP to help you
transition into adult life?
Are you in charge
of your IEP?
How do we get there?
How did you learn to
fend for yourself?
Where did you learn
this skill set?
"I see it, so be it."
"I am what I am."
Environments must be rich in models.
In his famous work on the subject,
psychologist Erik Erikson notes:
"Self concept is the rudimentary
definition of self based on a collection
of disconnected traits. The self
concept relies on role models to
suggest standards and preferences.
Questions to guide IEP goals:
• Name a time when you met role models; a successful deaf
adult who uses oral strategies and a deaf adult who uses
American Sign Language?
• What did you notice about how they interact in the hearing
• Give an example of a time when you missed something in
school, what did you do?
• What kind of technology accommodations are commonly used
in school and work settings? At home and in the community?
• How do your needs change in different environments, how do
you adapt?
• What do you do if you don’t understand someone in these
different environments?
Social / Emotional goals
Language /
Communication goals
Evaluation of the relationship between
language competence and social/emotional
goals needs to be completed by a
professional in the field of deafness.
• Make books
• Make movies
• Create a clear voice!
• Storytelling allows the development
of individual perspective
Berry Picking
berry (twist back & forth on pinky)
picking (just like picking)
by Leona Sandlin’s Class
Joe Kokrine, Ronald Buster, Trevor Ayunerak,
Haley Moses, Christine Strongheart, Crystal
Moses, Shantel Leopold, Jordon Phillip, Martin
James, Fredrica Joseph, Calvin Kameroff
We walk down the road...
road (move hands out sides of road)
we (draw scoop from one shoulder to other)
walk (back and forth like feet stepping) go berry picking!
berry (twist back & forth on pinky)
ASL, American Sign Language, is the language of the deaf community all across America.
This book shows ASL sentences, next to English sentences. Notice that the grammar
is different. ASL often uses rhetorical questions. For example:
Road we walk, why? Pick berries.
English: We walk down the road to pick berries.
You can research more about ASL and the Deaf community on websites like,
or You can also google “American Sign Language” to find sites. Remember,
it is vital to look to deaf elders and the Deaf community for information about deafness.
It is challenging to capture a 3-dimensional language in a 2 dimensional book. When signs
require movement, you will see 2 or more pictures connected together like this:
Changing or omitting the movement of a sign in ASL is like changing or omitting a letter
of a word in English. You change the meaning of the sign or word.
To learn more about making books like this one, contact Jennifer White at Able Opportunities,
Inc. 206-406-9900 or [email protected]
Prepare to Normalize The Cycle:
my parent, my teacher, my boss.
Utilize supports that allow the employer to be the boss;
right the relationship of the job coach! Use
accommodations that allow someone to represent
Video resumes / Visual Reporting
Show Me the Money
Lack of access to business model supports that include relationship to money
and production for supported employees has consequences.
Supervisors, often without confidence about accommodation needs, rely on
coaches to monitor and set work goals for an individual with disAbilities.
Employed individuals who do not manage their own funds
often have no understanding that production equals
earnings; that producing more provides more money,
freedom and opportunity.
Where does this leave us? Cheerleading. Relying solely
on the social aspects of employment as motivation to
work...leaving us repetitively teaching work ethics in terms
of abstract value-based beliefs and concepts, rather than
in concrete consequences.
Trepp checks with his coach, saying "Money" to confirm he will be earning.
Trepp uses the wA app & a money jig for concrete
information about work expectations and earnings.
Production data is tracked on the job and auto feeds to this table. The
graph immediately shows production flow. Employees hand this to their
supervisor directly, allowing concrete discussion of expectations & goals.
A graph measuring earnings and lost wages is an option to provide
concrete information about work choices.
Now Available on iTunes
Work Autonomy allows accommodation to some of the greatest barriers in the work place:
communication with customers, co-workers and supervisors, tracking expectations, and
understanding the relationship between production and earnings.
Set colors, font, and sections to meet your accommodation needs. Capture video, photo, text,
and/or voice for messages and a work schedule. Set work parameters with your boss, then…
Play Messages
Track Schedule
Track Expectations
Track Production
Contact me anytime
[email protected]
Link to a movie model on our