Deaf-Blind clients use, or should, use Intervenors on a daily basis to assist with communication and information, in all kinds of situations without prejudice.
Let me elaborate…
Just a refresher, an Intervenor is a professional who works with Deaf-Blind clients by acting as their eyes and ears, by signing, tactile signing, fingerspelling, or clearly speaking, or two-hand manual or a bunch of other ways. The intervenor should also guide and support the client in the best of their abilities.
This being said, the intervenor should always put aside their own personal beliefs, opinions and dislikes to support the client they work with.
In the past, I have worked with many vegan intervenors, when eating meat I would, as a joke, hide the meat from their view. It was funny laugh! The Vegan would brush it asaide, and say it does not bother him or her.
If an intervenor is hired for me and I want to protest something like the rights of Inuit to hunt seals, to eat seal meat, etc. The intervenor must work with me, providing accurate information, not leaving anything out. Even if she is against the killing of seals.
I am a Christian, and go to church and support the Salvation Army annual Kettle drive. I like to watch people shop! During the past two years I volunteered with my four different intervenors. I found out, two months later, that one intervenor is actually a faithful Jehovah Witness. I will not get into religion discussions on my blog, suffice to say that Witnesses do not celebrate Christmas, and refuse to acknowledge Christmas at all. The fact that this intervenor put aside her personal beliefs to work with me is astounding!
Now, a word about booking intervenors, that word is: Unknown. What i mean, is that when I book an intervenor, I generally do not have a plan until the day of the booking. So, when the intervenor arrives, I tell him or her, we are going to the Rally for Inuit Rights to Hunt Seals. The intervenor should say “Alright, where is it?” and away we go. Had I known before hand, two weeks before, as sometimes I do, that I want to use the intervenor to go to the Rally, and I informed the intervenor, she can ask for a replacement.
Asking for a replacement is among the policies of all agencies that employ intervenors or interpreters. If one is sick, uncomfortable with the situation (killing of seals), uncomfortable with the client (yes, one interpreter refused to work with me before, I guess my continuous lack of deodorant and teeth brushing was a health hazard), or the like, then they have the right to ask for a replacement.
The point of this blog post is to point out that an intervenor should, must, not leave a Deaf-Blind consumer without support just because the intervenor does not support, believe or respect the event/situation the client is in. The intervenor must put aside personal beliefs!
Next: Deaf-Blind in Nursing Home