With some extra funding remaining from Rise’s Department of Human Services Innovations grant, Rise’s Community Supported Employment team was given the green light to use the funds in “creative” ways to serve people who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing.
“We were able to purchase 16 iPads to give out to people who are really feeling isolated,” said Occupational Communication Specialist (OCS) Jennifer Sawyer. “This technology will assist them in maintaining connection with their friends, family, employment consultants, and employers via Facetime using American Sign Language to communicate.”
Along with Jennifer, OCSes Angela Mannila and Felicia Herlevi were pleased to give them out to the people they serve, including Nate Banks shown here. The three said that people were surprised, but thrilled to get them.
“This will make a tremendous difference for people who are so isolated during this pandemic,” said Angela. “We are very grateful for DHS’s willingness to think creatively with funding during this extraordinary time of crisis.”
On behalf of Rise and those who received these iPads, we send our special thanks to the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
This article appears in June 2020 Rise Reporter.