By Regina St. Denis, Deafblind Intervenor, Canadian Hearing Services Timmins
As a Deafblind Intervenor, sometimes I need to think outside the box. I, along with an experienced team at CHS, provide the visual and auditory information necessary to enable people with deafblindness interact successfully with other people and their environment.
When I first started working with Karen*, she would only leave her apartment once a month. Due to family obligations and prior engagements, Karen’s family was only able to see her once every three weeks for a few hours. In that time, Karen had to complete all her errands, which left very little time for meaningful time spent with her family.
I encouraged Karen to take advantage of our Deafblind Intervening Services, but she was reluctant at first. During our conversations, I learned that before her vision and hearing loss became a health and safety concern, she used to love going for walks and sitting down to listen to the park sounds.
Eventually, I convinced Karen to let me pick her up and drive her to the park. On the drive over, she told me how she remembered going for walks in the park as a young parent, seeing the playground on the left of the parking lot, and the sweet smells coming from a nearby food truck. We spent a few moments sitting in silence when Karen tilted her head back and closed her eyes, embracing the heat from the sun on her face.
“Thank you for this,” Karen said to me. “I haven’t been able to do this in a long time.”
From that moment on, Karen has turned to CHS for its Deafblind services. By using Intervention Services, she can now spend quality time with her family and have the freedom to continue to live an independent life.
*Client’s name has been changed to protect identity.