Meet some of the inspiring deaf adults who found their paths to success by participating in Deaf-REACH program.
Jackie has been with Deaf-REACH for 30 years. What most people find impressive about Jackie is her uncanny ability to remember everyone’s birthday. They also love her smile.
Jackie is a 53 year old New York native and the only member of her family of six who is deaf; she has two sisters and one brother. When Jackie was 18 years old, she moved to Washington D.C. to attend the Model Secondary School for the Deaf. After graduation in 1982, she received four months of typing and clerk training through the National Association for the Deaf, at which point she decided to receive services from Deaf-REACH.
Deaf-REACH worked with Jackie by initially finding her place to live, in a group home to enhance her independent skills, then in 1987 by helping her move into an apartment that she shared with a friend. At the same time, she got a job as a clerk in a government agency in Washington, D.C. After 25 years, Jackie still proudly holds her job!
For the last several years she has lived on her own. According to Jackie, the ability to communicate with people has become better with time. Knowing Deaf-REACH is here for her helped her manage the stress and anxieties of becoming truly independent – of not becoming lonely but rather staying involved. “I love the staff at Deaf-REACH very much” Jackie noted. Deaf-REACH has helped me a lot. They provided me with a lot of support in different things like going to doctor’s appointments, budgeting, social events and learning new things”
Patty has been with Deaf-REACH for 4 years. She found a place to live after being homeless for 5 years. She is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with breast cancer (Stage 1) during spring time, 2011. She was treated at George Washington University Hospital and had several major surgeries from Sept 2011 to May 2012. She almost died twice after her surgery but she recovered during a 6 week period.. She continues to receive her treatments with her oncologist. She is so grateful to be a breast cancer survivor for the past year to the present. She appreciates the moral support from those who encouraged her to beat her cancer, her dad and Deaf-REACH Clinical Director, who helped her a lot to develop with her supportive counseling sessions in past 4 years at Deaf-REACH and her partner. She still faces some financial struggles in present time however, she continues to be strong and have positive attitude on a daily basis by taking it a day at a time. Patty noted: Many thanks to Deaf-REACH staff who are part of her present life.
Deaf-REACH came to Vernon's life at a time when he was struggling. He was without a job and living in shelters in 2011 when he started receiving services from Deaf REACH. He moved to DC/Maryland from Philadelphia in 2008. He was working for a while and lost his job and eventually couldn’t afford his rent. He started to live in shelters and was really desperate. He needed help finding a job and getting his life in order. He was successfully placed in a job where he is currently working. His counselor/ Employment Specialist continues to help him to maintain and retain his job, and resolve any differences with management. He has been with Deaf REACH since the summer of 2011.