DeafBlind Employment Specialist
Laurie McBride is the DeafBlind Employment Specialist for the state of Iowa. She provides job development services, such as online job searching skills, support in online job applications and job interviews, including solving transportation challenges and ensuring reasonable accommodations are provided by employers. Also, as a DBS, she can provide information and resources to family members, employers and local vocational rehabilitation counselors.
Originally from Ontario, Canada, Laurie worked in Iowa as a Graphic Designer for almost 20 years. Since 2015, Laurie has worked as a contract trainer with the Helen Keller National Center for the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (or iCanConnect), providing consumers training in telecommunications equipment, while attending college and university to obtain her bachelor’s degree in Human Service.
Laurie has learned to adapt to different workplace environments with her hearing loss, and now with combined hearing and vision loss. Her experience is a helpful tool in her DBES position, which allows her to share examples of successful strategies and tasks that she has accomplished. Her personal experience as a DeafBlind person shows consumers and potential employers that people with vision and hearing loss can live and work in their communities. Self-advocacy has been an important tool in finding her own jobs and adapting her career path. Using these personal assets to assist other DeafBlind consumers in finding and retaining employment will result in the right fit for both employee and employer.
IA-DBS Services Provided:
- Job development
- Customized employment
- Supported employment job coaching
- Job follow-up
- Non-supported job coaching