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REES Deaf Services Success Stories

The Deaf Services Marketing Counsellor makes periodic visits to meet with both Employer and Employee to ensure that all needs are met within the working environment through proper accommodations and support.  Presentations are made on “Deaf Culture Awareness’ and ‘How to Create a Deaf Friendly Workplace’. REES Deaf Services has partnered with Sphere Quebec a Federal funding organization to provide wage subsidies to Employers to ensure long term gain in Employment. Research has shown that individuals with a disability who are being supported in their workplace for 1 or 2 years, sustain their employment. Their employers are able to see the value of investing in their Employees with a Disability as they work with REES to ensure that proper accommodations are in place for these employees.

REES Deaf Services – 2016 Successful Supported Employment 

Geoff - He is hard of hearing and was unable to get Employers to believe in his capabilities as an IT personnel. He had been unemployed for the past 2 years. A+ Computers and Services was willing to offer him employment through funding that was used not only to train and pay his initial wages, but to buy an Assistive Device to aid in communication with co-workers and customers. Geoff excelled in his position as a Customer Service Representative and has maintained his work with the company. He has been with A+ Computers and Services since April of 2016 and is still employed. REES Deaf Services continues to work closely with both Geoff and A+ computers to aid in any communication awareness that needs to take place. 

 - A Deaf participant was connected to Salvation Army Thrift Store and has been a productive member of the production team for the past 9 months and has maintained her employment. Sphere Quebec funding was able to encourage the company to assess, hire and maintain the employment of Marvic. She has increased production and is one of the star employees.

Marc - Being Deaf, Marc had difficulty in convincing Employers to hire him. He had some gaps in Essential Skills Training and REES Deaf Services Counsellor obtained Sphere Quebec funding to assess and provide Essential Skills training for him. He has since been employed with Proximity Mobile as a Database Developer.

Alexander – He had just graduated from high school and had no Essential Skills Training or Transferrable skills for Employment. He was referred to the OPUS project for Essential skills training, and with the right training and mentorship, was able to obtain employment as a Support worker for individuals with a disability at DASCH Inc. He has enjoyed his work and is planning to pursue the Disability Studies and Community Support Diploma at Red River College next fall.

Eryn - A+ Computers and Services was willing to train and hire him using Sphere Quebec wage subsidy funding. Eryn has been with the company for the past 5 months and continues to grow and be a productive Customer Service Representative with the company. Sphere Quebec, REES, and A+ Computers and Services were able to collaborate together to make this hire happen.

Jacob – Employers have a huge attitudinal barrier when it comes to employing Deaf trade workers. With Sphere Quebec wage subsidy funding, I got Imperial Metal Inc. to buy into the fact that Deaf trade workers are safer than hearing ones. Imperial Metal Inc. provided some training and have since hired Jacob. His supervisor has been very impressed, not only with his work ethics but has come to believe that Deaf workers are actually safe workers. Presentations were made on ‘How to create a Deaf Friendly Workplace’.

Dustin – Just having been laid off from his Construction job, Dustin was without work for a year before he applied for a cleaner position at Priority Electronics. Utilizing a 2-week work assessment project through United Way, the Employer was able to train and evaluate Dustin on his tasks and finding out that he was the right fit for the job, hired him.

Rebecca Gibson sent this blurb about Katarina’s impact at Eagle Vision; 
“When Katarina began working with us, she was tasked with writing her own biography as a blog post for our website, and a book report on a book written by one of our interview subjects. Book reports and blog posts, written with journalistic integrity, became one of the first steps in the mentorship (which encompasses the first of many industry protocols, and duties that include social media). Katarina has attended interviews (including with Minister of Status of Women for Canada, Patty Hajdu). She has learned (and will continue to learn) protocols for interviewing, including interview questions, transcripts cameras, and editing. Katarina has attended b-roll shoots, so she can learn about the entire process to gain a better understanding of working as a writer (which will serve her moving forward as a filmmaker in her own right). Together, our team developed new protocols for editing, and Katarina was tasked with shot-listing for the entire series, giving her the experience for her work as a writer (and as a director in the future), and proving herself an integral member of the team. In terms of decision making, responsibility, and accountability, Katarina’s work on our show requires her to put these ideals into practice every day. Our show is sensitive in nature. A false move could put the production in jeopardy. It could negatively trigger individuals touched by the issues related to Canada’s MMIWG. Katarina is receiving praise for her integrity, her voice as a writer, and she fills the office with her positive presence (and fabulous laugh). She is known as an essential contributor, a hard worker, with an amazing attitude.’

aA young Deaf girl's dream come true; Support by REES, Eagle Vision and Federal Funding. This is Katarina's story;

A former classmate of mine in high school contacted me a year after our high school graduation. He approached me about a project he was working on with Rebecca Gibson, who would later become one of my mentors and without her and Kyle Irving—I wouldn’t be here writing this meaningful story to share with the Deaf community. The project Orange Daisy Project was a social action campaign in support of mental health for teen girls and young women across Canada, and they selected ten girls to share their story. I was one of the ten girls selected to share my story about how being Deaf impacted every aspect of my life, to a great extent of my life-long dream of becoming a filmmaker. With that being said, I was touched by a stroke of luck and coincidence that Rebecca Gibson, a producer and writer of the Orange Daisy Project happened to be one of the most influential mentors for emerging and young filmmakers. I was asked by Rebecca to come in the office for an interview about an internship with Eagle Vision, and to work on a documentary television series called Taken. It’s a show that tells gripping, heart-rending stories of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Girls and Women and to bring the nation together to find what happened to our girls and women. Of course, I responded to the invitation with great enthusiasm because not only was I given a chance to offer my passion for filmmaking and Indigenous issues, but it was certainly something that Deaf people, much like myself don’t get an opportunity like this often. It meant a lot to me that Eagle Vision was willing to give me a chance to show what I could do and what I can learn in the process of the internship.
Eagle Vision got in touch with Reaching E-Quality Employment Services to access funding for the internship to cover the costs of payroll, interpreting service, and all necessarily accommodations to make it more accessible for me. Recently, I accompanied Rebecca Gibson and Kyle Irving to Whistler for a film festival to promote a feature film called Lovesick. The trip itself was once again, supported by REES Deaf Services for the accommodations and interpreting service. It was a very rewarding trip as I got an exclusive, inside look of the industry and its networking and I got to develop my skill set as a producer’s assistant.
My goals as an emerging filmmaker in the future is to bring my creativity to the screen. I aspire to write an episode for the documentary television series – Taken, to write and direct a short film and submit it to all film festivals and to work on a feature film. I hope to shed positive light on the Deaf and First Nations community through my work.
Without REES Deaf Services, Sphere Quebec funding, and Eagle Vision’s mentorship, this spectacular, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity wouldn’t be possible and the path to achieving my life-long dream would be undoubtedly more difficult.