This will not be a specific list of ALL intervenor roles, instead I’ll outline what I use an intervenor for. Everyone has their own preferences for an intervenor based on, experience and vision/hearing abilities.
Now, an Intervenor is a certified, professional position that enables a person who has both vision and hearing losses to be a part of society. The intervenor acts as the eyes and ears of those who are Deaf-Blind. In Ontario, 95% of intervenors have completed the 2 year Intervenor training program at George Brown College. In Vancouver, the opposite is true, maybe 5% of intervenors working as intervenors have completed the program at GBC or elsewhere. They receive on-the-job training or short courses.
As mentioned, an intervenor is a professional, and with all professional workers, they have their family, friends, mortgages, concerns, anxieties, interests and hobbies. It is rare for an intervenor to socialize with Deaf-Blind outside of work time. What I find important, is that whatever a Deaf-Blind consumer tells the intervenor; a joke, a story, a credit card number, a menu request, a request for doctor’s help, it goes in one ear and out the other. Or in some cases, in one eye, and out the other. It is forgotten quickly.
Things I use intervenors for include:
- Shopping: I use intervenor to find things on a list, they would tell me the price, sizes, and the like. I’ve asked intervenor if thrift store items are cracked, stained or otherwise unsuitable.
- Restaurants: use intervenor to read menu, to explain what is on, or in a dish. Price information. They have spotted foreign things in my food that I would otherwise consume.
- Doctor appointments, well, this I have learned the hard way, it is best to have professional interpreter there who has been certified for medical interpreting. The jargon is more complex and cannot be summarized. As this is a big list, I have decided to do a specific blog on the topic. Stay tuned!
- Family events is what I strongly prefer to use an intervenor for. With a hearing family and many friends who are hearing, I am often left out of conversations. And I put too much stress on my wife to help communicate.
- Socials with other Deaf-Blind people: this I use specifically for those who do not have ASL skills. If Deaf-Blind can sign, then I usually ignore intervenor and chat myself with friends. If weak ASL skills, or no ASL ability, then will use intervenor.
- Deaf events mostly for relay signing.
- Workshops and training
- Trying new things, new places, new food
- Playgroup, when my kids were younger, I would go to playgroup with them. I would use intervenor there to help communicate with other parents and staff.
- Tech learning: I have asked intervenors to help with different tech problems. Because before I could not see a screen (I can now with my Zoomtext). One intervenor taught me how to set up bluetooth between older phone and old phone! That same intervenor taught me how to make a killer squash soup! Nobody died from it, but everyone said it was amazing!
- When I had Hearing Ear Dog training, I had intervenor for almost 2 weeks to help understand the training.
- Job training, through not me, but one intervenor worked a great deal of overtime to support a Deaf-Blind individual with on-the-job training!
- Guiding, I do use intervenors for guiding, I usually walk behind them. and now with my walker, they may hold the walker, but I still control it!
- I’ve used intervenor to make phone calls (not crank calls ala Bart Simpson – Al Coholic!)
There are many more uses that I cannot recall at the present.
Enjoy your reading!