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deaf-blind

Deaf-Blind Telecommunications Program Associate

JOB DESCRIPTION

POSITION:   Deaf-Blind Telecommunications Program Associate

REPORTS TO:  Deaf-Blind Specialist

STATUS:  Non-exempt (part-time)

JOB PURPOSE:

The Deaf-Blind Telecommunications Program Associate (DBTPA) is a part-time, federally-funded grant-based position. The DBTPA provides critical administrative support and assistance for the California Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Project (DBEP) administered by LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. This position is specifically responsible for supporting the Deaf-Blind Specialist in all aspects of administrative and program support to ensure program protocols and efficiencies are upheld. While this project provides essential telecommunications equipment and training to deaf-blind Californians, it is equally matched by the need for crucial data management.

The majority of the DBTPA position requires heavy, accurate, detailed and timely data entry into the Salesforce database, strong understanding and use of Excel, electronic file management, and equipment ordering and management. The DBTPA is also a representative of the project and must be able to relate to, and communicate with, students, vendors and outside agencies in a kind, yet effective manner.

The main work site for this position is at the LightHouse satellite office in the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley. The work area of the DBTPA is located in an open work environment, thus the ability to work in respectful low-noise areas, including working in and around guide dogs, is essential. The DBTPA must be flexible to travel to other satellite offices in San Rafael, Fairfield, Napa or the main headquarters in San Francisco as needed by the program.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Education or equivalent:  Associates or Bachelor’s Degree with concentrations in Accounting, Computer Science, Research or Mathematics.

Experience: Two years’ experience in administrative or accounting support or related field; a background in non-profits desirable.

Other:

  • Strong (intermediate to advanced) and demonstrated skills in computer literacy (Microsoft Office Suite) and database management (Salesforce is used at the LightHouse) with a high rate of accuracy. Advanced use of Excel is essential.
  • Understanding of equipment related to telecommunication such as iDevices, low vision products and assistive technology.
  • Intermediate mathematical skills required, including the ability to analyze mathematical data.
  • American Sign Language or proficiency in a language other than English preferred, but not required. Strong ability to communicate in English is essential.
  • Must be extremely organized, professional, detail oriented, and self-motivated/sufficient.
  • Ability to follow oral and written instructions with excellent time management, organizational skills, verbal and written communication skills.
  • Experience in working with the deaf and/or blind community (or individuals) a plus.
  • Must have strong interpersonal skills, patience and the ability to relate to a diverse staff and student population.
  • Must have valid California Driver License and be willing to drive.
  • Must have a desire to work with colleagues and find pleasure and purpose in what you do, as we strive to be mentors to the students we teach.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:

Must be able to: Carry or transport 20 lbs.; sit at a desk and perform computer-intensive work for long periods of time; operate standard office equipment; travel independently.

JOB ACCOUNTABILITIES:

  • Communicate via telephone/video phone, email and written correspondence regarding the DBEP, to provide to potential recipients and inquiring family members and service providers.
  • Communicate with community agencies, volunteers, and student recipients who are deaf-blind, blind, and community members with varied backgrounds and viewpoints in an effective and collaborative way.
  • Distribute, organize, review and enter new DBEP applications.
  • Provide support to outreach efforts for the DBEP.
  • Maintain inventory lists of equipment and software.
  • Order and track office supplies, materials, and forms.
  • Organize and process work in a timely and customer-friendly manner.
  • Maintain accurate electronic and database (student and equipment) files.
  • Prepare equipment requests, vendor purchase authorizations, matching/tracking invoices and documentation of all purchases, and monthly expenses.
  • Maintain written correspondence as necessary.
  • Order and procure equipment and maintain inventory lists of equipment hardware and software.
  • Ensure detailed billing and database information concur with Finance Department entries.
  • Manage multiple tasks related to the DBEP with precision and a high degree of organization.
  • Update and maintain documents and reports related to the DBEP.
  • Provide accessibility support for blind/low vision and deaf-blind trainers, with administrative support related to the DBEP.
  • Arrange student travel needs for training. Assist or request driving, interpreting support for DBEP trainers as needed, and schedule students and trainers as requested for equipment delivery and training.
  • Drive (agency or rental vehicle) for equipment pick-up, delivery or trainer travel as necessary.

WORKING CONDITIONS:

LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired is an equal opportunity employer. LightHouse personnel are employed on an at-will basis. We strive to maintain a scent-free environment and a drug-free workplace.

TO APPLY:

Please submit a cover letter and résumé as Word attachments (no .PDFs please), to hr@lighthouse-sf.org, including the job title in the subject line. We will not consider videos or hyperlinks to online profiles. Due to time constraints we will only respond to complete submissions in which there is serious interest. Thank you for your understanding.

LightHouse’s Kathy Abrahamson Honored with Deaf-Blind Advocacy Award

The Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC) is the only national rehabilitation center of its kind, educating those with a combination of vision and hearing impairments in its residential program in Sands Point, New York. The HKNC has produced some of our nations most successful and noteworthy deaf-blind advocates, one of which was Robert Smithdas. In addition to being a long-time advocate at HKNC, Smithdas was also the first deaf-blind individual to receive a masters’ degree, with a legacy that stretched from the middle of the 20th century all the way to his retirement in 2009. With Smithdas’ passing in 2014, the HKNC established the Robert J. Smithdas award, given every year to a select few deaf-blind educators and advocates who have demonstrated a long track record of service to the community.

We’re proud to announce that this year one of the two award recipients is our Director of Rehabilitation, Kathy Abrahamson.

A representative from HKNC came to the LightHouse at the end of July to personally present Kathy with the award. Kathy shares this honor with Ingrid Halvorsen, a longtime deaf-blind educator in Illinois. “Dr. Robert J. Smithdas was reknowned for his tireless advocacy and leadership influencing the development of services for individuals who are deaf-blind,” said Sue Ruzenski, HKNC’s Executive Director, “Both Kathy and Ingrid embody Dr. Smithdas passion for empowering the deaf-blind community.”

Direct from the Helen Keller National Center:

Kathy Abrahamson is the Director of Rehabilitation at the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in San Francisco, California.  The LightHouse has a long history of providing services to the deaf-blind community beginning in the 1950’s with the establishment of Enchanted Hills Camp, and the formation of a deaf-blind social and recreational club in the early 70’s. Kathy has continued this tradition, and has been a strong champion of deaf- blind services since she began at the LightHouse in 1986. She exemplifies the true spirit of the HKNC Affiliate Program by always maintaining a deaf-blind specialist at the LightHouse since 1992.  Her leadership with the California National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program has afforded a unique collaboration with HKNC, and has brought technology to over 300 deaf-blind Californians the past three years. “She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty in the kitchen every year, slinging turkey and dressing at the annual deaf-blind holiday party, and she may be our biggest ally in trying to establish additional deaf-blind services on this coast, from statewide Support Service Provider (SSP) services to residential training,” said Cathy Kirscher, HKNC’s regional representative for California.  “She is a very deserving individual whose presence and advocacy, along with her fantastic team at the Lighthouse, continues to benefit deaf-blind individuals on a daily basis.”

Without a doubt, Kathy is one of our most valuable assets here at the LightHouse, and it gives us great pleasure and pride to see her recognized on a national level. Congrats, Kathy!

 

 

LightHouse Rehabilitation Director Kathy Abrahamson Honored with Deaf-Blind Advocacy Award

(Left to Right) Bapin Bhattacharyya, Sook Hee Choi, Kathy Abrahamson (holding award), Bryan Bashin, Cathy Kirscher

We’re proud to announce that this year one of the two recipients of the Robert J. Smithdas award is our Director of Rehabilitation, Kathy Abrahamson.

The Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC) is the only national rehabilitation center of its kind, educating those with a combination of vision and hearing impairments in its residential program in Sands Point, New York. The HKNC has produced some of our nation’s most successful and noteworthy deaf-blind advocates, one of whom was Robert Smithdas. In addition to being a long-time advocate at HKNC, Smithdas was also the first deaf-blind individual to receive a masters’ degree, with a legacy that stretched from the middle of the 20th century all the way to his retirement community in 2009. With Smithdas’ passing in 2014, the HKNC established the Robert J. Smithdas award, given every year to a select few deaf-blind educators and advocates who have demonstrated a long track record of service to the community.

The LightHouse Deaf-Blind Telecommunications Program has given away free of charge more than $1.5 million in needed telecommunications equipment to Deaf-Blind people throughout California. This program, the largest of its kind in the United States, is a model of collaboration between the LightHouse and HKNC.

A representative from HKNC came to the LightHouse at the end of July to personally present Kathy with the award. Kathy shares this honor with Ingrid Halvorsen, a longtime deaf-blind educator in Illinois. “Dr. Robert J. Smithdas was renowned for his tireless advocacy and leadership influencing the development of services for individuals who are deaf-blind,” said Sue Ruzenski, HKNC’s Executive Director, “Both Kathy and Ingrid embody Dr. Smithdas passion for empowering the deaf-blind community.”

Direct from the Helen Keller National Center:

Kathy Abrahamson is the Director of Rehabilitation at the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in San Francisco, California.  The LightHouse has a long history of providing services to the deaf-blind community beginning in the 1950’s with the establishment of Enchanted Hills Camp, and the formation of a deaf-blind social and recreational club in the early 70’s. Kathy has continued this tradition, and has been a strong champion of deaf- blind services since she began at the LightHouse in 1986. She exemplifies the true spirit of the HKNC Affiliate Program by always maintaining a deaf-blind specialist at the LightHouse since 1992.  Her leadership with the California National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program has afforded a unique collaboration with HKNC, and has brought technology to over 300 deaf-blind Californians the past three years. “She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty in the kitchen every year, slinging turkey and dressing at the annual deaf-blind holiday party, and she may be our biggest ally in trying to establish additional deaf-blind services on this coast, from statewide Support Service Provider (SSP) services to residential training,” said Cathy Kirscher, HKNC’s regional representative for California.  “She is a very deserving individual whose presence and advocacy, along with her fantastic team at the Lighthouse, continues to benefit deaf-blind individuals on a daily basis.”
Without a doubt, Kathy is one of our most valuable assets here at the LightHouse, and it gives us great pleasure and pride to see her recognized on a national level. Congrats, Kathy! If you want to give a contribution to the LightHouse in honor of Kathy and her accomplishments, click here.

August Deaf-Blind Camp Session Still has Openings

Deaf-Blind students, teachers and teacher’s kids sign the word 'Paparazzi' (aimed in fun at the photographer)It’s not too late to enroll – we still have a few openings in our upcoming Deaf-Blind Session at Enchanted Hills Camp. The session is for adults 18 years and older with both some visual impairment and deafness. Most of the campers use American Sign Language as their primary mode of communication.

One camper told us, “I have been coming to Enchanted Hills Camp for more than 30 years. EHC is my second home. I always feel welcome and I can communicate with my friends and volunteers without any barriers.”

You can count on a plethora of recreational activities to take part in, including swimming, hiking, games, crafts, archery, campfires (complete with s’mores) and more.

One of the great attractions of the session is the free flow of communication that we make possible, in a variety of ways that meet our campers’ needs. This includes using American Sign Language, tactile sign language, spoken English or amplified sound. We do this with the help provided by our volunteer SSPs (Support Service Providers).

Support Service Providers are specially trained professionals who enable people who are deaf-blind or have limited vision or hearing to access their environments and communicate. (Source: http://www.aadb.org/information/ssp/ssp.html.) SSP’s make sure every announcement or instruction between camp staff and camper is communicated to the camper via tactile sign language.

Says LightHouse Deaf-Blind Specialist Sook Hee Choi, “Everyone enjoys the camp – campers meet new friends and also talk with old friends, catching up with news. People who are sighted and hearing take this for granted, but for Deaf-Blind campers, this can only happen when they are physically present and able to touch each other through tactile sign language.”

When: Sunday, August 9 through Thursday, August 13
Campers must be 18 years or older and independent in daily living needs, health support and orientation and mobility.
The fee to attend is $100 for deaf-blind campers; volunteer SSPs attend at no cost.

If you are interested in applying for the camp or becoming a volunteer SSP for the session, please contact Sook Hee Choi, Deaf-Blind Specialist at schoi@lighthouse-sf.org.

Instructor Ben Oude Kamphuis shows camper Tony So how to hold a bow and arrow during Archery Class at last year’s Deaf-Blind camp session

Equipment and Training Free to Deaf-Blind People

LightHouse student Angela Palmer (left) and LightHouse Deaf-Blind Specialist Sook Hee Choi talk technology using Tactile Sign LanguageThe LightHouse continues to provide telecommunication equipment and training to eligible deaf-blind Californians. We are nearing the end of our third year, and over 300 Californians who are deaf-blind or legally blind and hard of hearing have received accessible equipment to use for communication (email or phone use) with friends and family.

While everyone’s needs and technology abilities are different, we have been able to provide a range of equipment depending on need and skills, for example: iPhones with Braille displays; computers with screen readers and noise canceling headsets to hear JAWs; assistance with upgrading software such as ZoomText or JAWS; or providing braille displays to folks who can no longer hear the speech on the screen reader, but can read email using a braille display.

To find out more about this program, contact Sook Hee Choi, Deaf-Blind Specialist at schoi@lighthouse-sf.org. Sook Hee will send to you program information and an application.

 

First Online International Deaf-Blind Conference

On January 24th and 25th, 2015, the global DeafBlind community will come together for two days of learning and networking in the world’s first-ever online international conference for the DeafBlind. No transportation, special technology, or webcam required — anyone can access this exciting event with a high-speed internet connection. In addition to spoken English and American Sign Language, the conference will be automatically captioned and subtitled into 78 languages for sighted people and translated into synthesized voice in 35 languages for people who are blind or low vision.

The conference is supported by Translate Your World (www.TranslateYourWorld.com), makers of easy-to-use speech translation software that generates text and voice directly from a speaker’s words.  This software enables hearing people to communicate with people who are deaf or blind simply by going to a webpage.

The line-up of speakers and presenters includes many stars from the DeafBlind community. Teachers, counselors, medical professionals, diversity specialists, support service providers, corporate communication leaders, sign language interpreters, governmental representatives, plus family and members of the Deaf, Blind, and DeafBlind communities are encouraged to attend.

To see the speaker line up, register, and learn more about the technology, go to: www.deafblindtip.com

 

A Few Openings Left in our Deaf-Blind Camp Session on August 10 through 14

The Deaf-Blind Session at Enchanted Hills Camp is for adults 18 years and older with both some visual impairment and deafness. Most of the campers use American Sign Language as their primary mode of communication. Says LightHouse Deaf-Blind Specialist Sook Hee Choi, “Everyone enjoys the camp. Campers meet new friends and also talk with old friends, catching up with news. People who are sighted and hearing take this for granted, but for Deaf-Blind campers, this can only happen when they are physically present and able to touch each other through tactile sign language.”

When: Sunday, August 10 through Thursday, August 14

Please contact LightHouse Deaf-Blind Specialist Sook Hee Choi for more information. VP: 415-431-4572 or schoi@lighthouse-sf.org.

Read about our Deaf-Blind Camp session here.

Hands signing into hands reading

Adaptations Store August Product of the Month – The Meteor Pocket Watch

Now available at Adaptations – the Vibrating Meteor Pocket Watch. This unique, elegant and stylish pocket watch is great for someone who is deaf-blind or prefers to track the time quietly and discreetly. It is built out of smooth resin and is artfully shaped like a crescent moon, making it easy to use with one hand.

Unlike conventional talking watches, the Meteor Pocket Watch utilizes three buttons and a series of quiet vibrations to tell the time. When you press the first button it vibrates to tell the hour. The second button vibrates to tell the tens of minutes and the third button vibrates to tell the units of minutes. For example, at 2:14 p.m. the hour button will shake twice, the tens of minutes button will shake once, and the units of minutes button will shake four times.

The Meteor Pocket Watch is constructed of ABS resin, which gives its crescent moon shape a pleasant feel. It is waterproof up to 30 feet or 10 meters and weighs one ounce. With a rounded bottom, the Meteor fits in the palm of your hand and will slide easily into your pocket. It comes in three distinctive colors: red, dark blue, and black and is available for $127. Call Adaptations at (415) 694-7301 with any questions or stop by the store for a demonstration.
Meteor Pocket Watch

Become Empowered, Define Your Future, Discover You!

Discover You
A seminar presented by The Bay Area Chapters of the National Federation of the Blind of California & LightHouse for the Blind

 

Join the National Federation of the Blind of California and LightHouse for the Blind for an action-packed day. Come learn how you can live the life you want. Blind leaders in the community will present on topics such as employment, technology and recreation. Learn about your options and how you can advocate and raise expectations so that blindness need not hold you back from accomplishing your dreams.

What? A free seminar where you can learn the skills essential to success.
Continental breakfast, lunch and happy hour will be provided free
of charge!
Why? Low expectations are often the obstacles which stand between
blind people and the desire to succeed; and it is time to change
that perception.
Who? You! – Especially if you are a blind or low vision youth or adult;
have a family member who is blind; a professional in the blindness field; and anyone else who wants to have fun.
Where? LightHouse for the Blind | 214 Van Ness Avenue | San Francisco
When? Saturday august 23 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

RSVP now to Lisamaria Martinez at lmartinez217@gmail.com or 510-289-2577. The first 25 people to sign up will receive a gift card. Limited transportation may be arranged if there is a specific need.

A Few Openings Left in our Deaf-Blind Camp Session on August 10 through 14

The Deaf-Blind Session at Enchanted Hills Camp is for adults 18 years and older with dual sensory loss. Most of the campers use American Sign Language as their primary mode of communication.

When: Sunday, August 10 through Thursday, August 14

Read about last year’s Deaf-Blind Camp session here.

Please contact LightHouse Deaf-Blind Specialist Sook Hee Choi for more information. VP: (415) 431-4572 or schoi@lighthouse-sf.org.

 

hands signing into hands reading