Deaf-Blind Specialist–Region 5 North Central, Illinois

The mission of the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults is to enable each person who is deaf-blind to live and work in his or her community of choice. Authorized by an Act of Congress in 1967, HKNC is the only organization of its kind—providing training and resources exclusively to people age 16 and over who have combined vision and hearing loss. Students travel from across the country to our headquarters in Sands Point, New York, for on-campus training in assistive technology, vocational services, orientation and mobility, communication and independent living, and our regional offices bring HKNC resources to communities throughout the United States. Employment at HKNC is a "one-of-a-kind" experience and at HKNC, we seek employees who have a strong work ethic, strive for excellence, enjoy a challenge, and are highly motivated and creative.

We currently have an exciting career opportunity available to join the HKNC team as a Deaf-Blind Specialist in Illinois. The primary focus will be to provide one on one services to consumers to assist with achievement of employment outcomes, with a commitment to a fully inclusive community based environment. The Deaf-blind specialist will also offer training and technical assistance to their families and service providers. This position carries out identified and specific targeted activities, as outlined in Long Range Service Plan (LRSP) to assist the HKNC regional representative and interagency team with building capacity within the state. The Deaf-blind specialist will work in tandem and report directly to the HKNC regional representative. State and community partners will assist in identification of gaps in services in the state that will further delineate job responsibilities.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: Other duties may be assigned.

  • Assist with identifying service gaps and unmet needs of consumers with HKNC Regional Representative and community partners;
  • Assist with providing one on one direct services in the areas of vocational rehabilitation, with an emphasis on employment outcomes to include: job development, job placement and coaching. Work collaboratively with local service providers to develop a team to execute Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). Community Partners may include Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) , community rehabilitation programs (CRPs), schools for the deaf and schools for the blind, CILs, and others;
  • Collaborate with consumers, and community partners to identify deaf-blind youth and adults for inclusion in the HKNC National Registry;
  • Provide additional direct services as needed which may include instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) assistance and other casework as determined on a case by case basis;
  • Assist with providing outreach opportunities to educate Vocational Rehabilitation personnel about the capabilities of deaf-blind individuals and share HKNC services/programs;
  • Assist with identifying professional learning opportunities and assist with the initial assessments for trainings needed in the region. This may include support from IRPD, assisting with coordination and provision of training.
  • Assist with being a one on one liaison and professional trainer to work with the Helen Keller National Center and Vocational Rehabilitation, and home team members to support a consumer transitioning back to home community after completion of training (includes residential and employment domains). In addition to, but not be limited to, supported employment, customized integrated employment and other areas requested by training goals for successful outcomes;
  • Assist with providing training and mentor to the community and state employment specialists to expand awareness, knowledge and advocacy efforts about work-site related accommodations; work with VR and businesses to create work experience opportunities, leading to employment;
  • Assist with working collaboratively with HKNC Vocational Services to implement best practices in the state/or region, where appropriate;
  • Assist with supporting the Deaf-Blind Projects working with transition age youth, their families and educational personnel, linking educational team with VR and other resources including HKNC and adult services in the community. Attend IEP meetings, if necessary;
  • Work jointly with the Deaf-Blind Immersion Experience (DBIE) coordinator for referral, implementation of follow up recommendations and continued training for home team providers;
  • Conduct outreach efforts with Veteran’s Administration and senior adult & aging programs; promote information about Confident Living Program opportunities for both senior(s) with combined hearing and vision loss and rehab professionals;
  • Assist in identifying opportunities to offer Advocacy in the Deaf-blind World training to consumer groups and organizations;
  • Assist with identifying potential leaders to provide resources and leadership learning opportunities, with consumer organizations in the state;
  • Assist with supporting the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) delivery of services. Specific responsibilities to be determined by the regional representative;
  • Responsible for other duties, as may be assigned or requested by his/her immediate supervisor, or Director of Field Services.
  • This position requires significant travel throughout the state, and possibly nearby states, and to the Sands Point, NY, HKNC headquarters as necessary.

Education and/or EXPERIENCE

Bachelor’s degree required; MA degree preferred in vocational rehabilitation, Deaf Education, Special Education, multiple disabilities or related degree. Three to five years’ experience working with individuals who are deaf-blind. To apply please send resume and cover letter to hkncrecruitment@hknc.org

Please Send Resume and Cover Letter to: hkncrecruitment@hknc.org