Finding Strengths in Differences: National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Chloe Taylor’s career journey began with her enrollment in the Ohio School for the Deaf (OSD) 4Plus Program. The program is designed to aid deaf or hard of hearing students who demonstrate a need for continuing education upon completion of their high school credits and defer their diploma. The goal of the program is to help students gain employment experience and develop and improve their independent living skills while receiving support from teachers and staff.
It was within this program that Chloe connected with her true passion – working with children just like her – children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Chloe found herself immersed in the stories and experiences of the program participants, which motivated her to pursue a career through the Program as a Student Aide.
A Career Focused on Serving Others
In her role as Student Aide, Chloe constantly adapts her approach and studies the behaviors, strengths, and weaknesses of her students to foster growth – both for them and herself. Finn, a special student who became her focus this year, made a significant impact on Chloe. Despite the initial hurdles, Chloe focused on making Finn feel comfortable in her presence. She supervised his nightly routine, ensuring he completed tasks such as showering and going to bed. Her patience ultimately paid off as Finn found comfort in her presence. In the future, Chloe plans to work with OSD leaders to create a visual schedule for Finn, incorporating shower and bedtime routines, along with visuals to help him articulate his emotions and enhance his communication skills.
The Deaf Plus program holds a special place in Chloe’s heart, where she gained profound insights into the struggles faced by parents and teachers dealing with children of varying abilities and behaviors. For Chloe, this is her calling to effect genuine change in the lives of these remarkable children.
An Unexpected Turn in Direction
Chloe’s journey took an unexpected turn when she applied to PSI. The team was actively seeking individuals with American Sign Language (ASL) skills or a background within the deaf community to assist Student Aides at OSD. Chloe disclosed her deafness during the application process and, to her delight, secured the job.
“My first impression of Chloe was amazement of how passionate she is about her role there at OSD,” commented Stephanie Gohring, PSI Account Manager. “She made a huge difference to our staff on a volunteer basis. She valued her volunteer work so much, she reached out to us as recommended by OSD, to ask how she could do more by working with PSI.”
Chloe was a referral to the position by the OSD Director of Student Services.
“Chloe’s knowledge of ASL and her experience with the culture at OSD was invaluable to our existing PSI Student Aides,” commented Stephanie. “Chloe recorded several ASL training videos to assist our PSI Aides in becoming more ASL fluent. This was an integral part of our training program for non-fluent Aides.”
An Emphasis on Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Access
Chloe’s journey led her to a meaningful career in the 4Plus Program that fulfills her passion for making a difference. It also underscores the importance of diversity, inclusion, equity and access in the workplace.
As an equal opportunity employer, PSI is committed to hiring, supporting, and promoting a diverse and inclusive workforce. PSI embraces diversity of all kinds and believes that it contributes to a positive work environment. Encouraging and respecting diversity of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives leads to innovative problem solving and results in exceptional partnerships and client outcomes.
“We are implementing accessible facilities, technologies, and inclusive policies to ensure equitable opportunities for all,” said Stephanie. Chloe is one example of how inclusion can support the success of many and lead to lasting change.
Be part of something special! PSI is a growing company who accelerates the success of our clients, community and employees. We strive to create a positive, yet challenging environment that helps our team members achieve their goals and attain the rewarding career they desire.