California Community Services Program (CSP)

Map of California with regions identified If you have a combined vision and hearing loss and need assistance in your home or at work, you may benefit from specialized training in order to maintain your independence and safety. 

HKNC’s California Community Service Program (CSP) can bring the experts to you. HKNC’s California CSP staff are here to help you find ways to be independent in your home, navigate your world, and prepare for employment by developing job readiness skills. In collaboration with the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), the CSP provides innovative ways to become more independent, be successful in the work place, and find a variety of ways for you to communicate with your community in the workplace and at home. If you live in Southern California, between Bakersfield and San Diego, you may qualify to receive one-on-one training in the environments that are most convenient and familiar to you. 

Our team of specialists in the deaf-blind field will work with you to build your self-confidence, independent skills, job readiness skills to find employment, and provide post-employment training and support. Skilled in alternative communication methods, including both tactual and visual American Sign Language, they are uniquely equipped to provide training and support in the following areas: independent living, orientation and mobility, assistive technology, employment training services, and job placement services. 

Eligibility

The CSP provides direct services to eligible California residents. We serve people between Bakersfield to San Diego or if you have an open case with California DOR. For more information, contact Chad Metcalf, supervisor of the Community Services Program, at Chad.Metcalf@hknc.org.

Vocational Training/Placement Services

Are you looking to gain employment? Unsure how to even start the process or perhaps feel hesitant to search for work because of a disappointing experience? Do you need support in your current employment setting? The CSP team is ready to support you! Our staff will assess your skills and preferences, work with you to set individual career goals, and develop the skills you need to achieve them. Our staff will work closely with you to identify equipment and accommodations that will be helpful on the job, including computer software and hardware, interpreters, and transportation. Your job coach will provide you with on-site and remote support to help ensure your success.

CSP participants are currently being placed in various areas of employment, from universities to retail. We will work tirelessly to find the right employer and location to suit your lifestyle and your abilities. 

You will work one-on-one with a job coach to:

  • Create an action plan tailored to your individual circumstances
  • Develop job search and interviewing skills
  • Explore adaptive equipment if needed
  • Understand ADA law, workplace culture, and safety
  • Assess your vocational skills and acquire new skills to stay more competitive in the job market

Employment Training Specialist

Job readiness training programs prepare participants to receive, retain, and excel at a new job. You will learn skills to prepare yourself to enter into the workforce. Job readiness training programs also help participants develop good work habits that facilitate their ongoing success. Some of the skills you will be working on will be the following:

  • Effective communication with your co-workers and supervisor
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Resume building 
  • Job search and interviewing skills
  • Employment training, placement services, and job coaching

Orientation and Mobility

Orientation and Mobility (O&M) refers to knowledge of where you are in space and how to navigate that space. You will learn skills and strategies on how to be independent while traveling by foot, public transportation, or a car service. O&M is necessary to maintain a job so you can get to places safely and efficiently. Some of the skills you will learn are the following:

  • Cane and pre-cane skills
  • Navigation for indoor and outdoor environments
  • Planning and execution of  routes
  • Utilizing para- or public transportation
  • Utilizing street crossing cards and signs

Independent Living Services 

You will develop skills and strategies to help you manage your home more safely and efficiently. You will learn how to prepare and cook healthy meals, clean your home effectively, budget your finances, and how to live as independently as possible.  

Topics Include:

  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Financial management
  • Health needs management 
  • Organizational skills

Technology

Technology is growing every day and often people with vision and hearing loss are not aware of the options available to them. Assistive Technology (AT) plays a key role in the success of a person who is deaf-blind. It creates bridges for communication with the hearing public as well as breaking the communication barrier with friends and relatives. With your AT Instructor, you will identify the technology that best fits your needs and receive training on how to use it. This will allow you to feel more confident, gain independence, and become more included in your community.

Meet HKNC's California CSP Staff

Susanne Hogan 

Susanne Hogan headshotSusanne Hogan is an Orientation & Mobility Specialist. She has a dual master’s degree in Orientation & Mobility/Rehabilitation Therapy. She worked at HKNC in New York for almost 10 years and has since returned to the HKNC family in California for the Southern California Community Service Program in 2019. She has worked in the field of deaf-blindness since 2004 in different capacities. 

Kayla Coburn

Kayla Coburn headshotKayla Coburn is the Independent Living Specialist for HKNC. She joined the team April 2019. She provides one-on-one lessons to people with combined vision and hearing loss on how to cook, clean, prepare meals, and budget independently. She will work together with you to focus on organizational skills for your home, equipment that can be beneficial to you, and strategies on how to keep up with independent living skills in your own environment. Kayla also works with California Deafblind Services where she focuses on children who are deaf-blind in the school setting. Kayla has been working in the Special Education field since 2011.

 

Wendy Chouinard

Wendy Chouinard headshotWendy Chouinard is from sunny Southern California and works as our placement specialist in the Southwest Region.  She is multi-lingual (Spanish, French, English, Arabic, and ASL) and an avid traveler with only one continent left for her to explore. She has worked as a certified tri-lingual sign language interpreter and small business owner for over 10 years.  She brings her business and communication background to provide the best employment opportunities for deaf-blind individuals. 

Toni Chapman 

Toni Chapman headshotToni Chapman is an Employment Training Specialist with HKNC California - Community Service Provider (CSP). She has been working as an advocate, job developer, job coach, placement coordinator, and employment specialist for the deaf and hard of hearing for 25 years, bearing a close relationship with the State Department of Rehabilitation (DOR). She is currently co-chair with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advisory Committee (DHHAC) with DOR.

New York Community Services Program

To learn about the New York Community Services program, follow the link below. 

New York Community Services Program