VideoHelen Keller National Center

Ashley’s Experience at HKNC

Learn about Ashley's experience working at The Learning Center for Deaf Children and at Helen Keller National Center (HKNC).

Meet Ashley

Ashley recently completed her program here at the Helen Keller National Center and is now working back in her home community.

Hi, my name is Ashley Riva.  My name sign is shown as an “a” on my chin. I graduated and am currently working at The Learning Center for Deaf Children. My job as a custodian has a lot of different duties. I am responsible to clean the bathrooms, offices, classrooms and the cafeteria. I sweep, I mop in those rooms.

Ashley’s boss, Mike, says she’s a very hard worker. He explained that Ashley is responsible for cleaning classrooms and nursing stations and has full reign over what she does. Her responsibilities are growing as she learns and she’s very eager to do more.

Title Slide: “We are very happy to have her here.” …. a quote from Mike, Ashley’s boss

I am able to communicate with the people that work here in a lot of different ways.  I use text, note writing through paper and pen, and of course with the Deaf people I use American Sign Language.

Title Slide:  Ashley communicates with her boss via text messaging.  Accessibility features on her phone, such as screen magnification, allow her to read these messages.

{Image: Close up of an iPhone open to messaging app.}

My boss Mike, is a really nice guy.  I also have a job coach, Dee and she visits me about one time a week, on Fridays.  I like working here because I like to earn my own money.

Title Slide: Ashley’s experience at HKNC helped prepare her for employment and provided her with strategies and tools to live independently.

One of the experiences I had at HKNC was the chance to try different jobs to see which ones I would like (or didn’t like).  I chose custodial work, or cleaning, because I like it.

Title Slide: Ashley started her journey at HKNC as a participant in the Young Adult Summer Program.

Here Ashley poses for a picture with some of the students and mentors involved in the Young Adult Summer Program.

{Image: 6 young adults pose for a picture. They are smiling and some have their arms around each other’s shoulders.  There is a dog in the picture, as well.}

And here, Ashley and the group again pose for a picture while out on a bowling trip in the community.

The first time I was at HKNC was for a summer program. I was really, really shy but learned a lot of things.  I took a bunch of classes to try different things just to see what I would like. Then I came back for a comprehensive where I stayed for almost a year.  I lived in the supported apartment where I learned to independently cook my own meals, how to pay my bills, do laundry, and basically learned how to maintain my home.  Completing my training at HKNC was empowering and I felt good!

I don’t know what the future has in store.  Maybe I will work on a farm, walk dogs, or, I don’t know, maybe work in a restaurant. I don’t know, we’ll see where I go. [End of Transcript]

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