This past December, with the help of The IC’s Employment department, Skylar Sypher began searching for a job. At the time, she wasn’t particularly concerned about what the job was, she just needed something to help pay the bills. For someone who is Deaf and mostly nonverbal, finding meaningful employment can be a difficult prospect. Some employers hold preconceived ideas about what it might be like working with someone who has a disability. In fact, Skylar was initially expecting to accept a job stocking shelves or working as an airport ramp person.
Yvonne Bacher, of The IC’s Employment department, worked with Skylar through the whole process, from applying for jobs to conducting mock interviews. With Yvonne’s help, Skylar applied for several different jobs. Most of the jobs looked like they would be difficult work, but would provide the income that Skyler needed. The job that really excited her though, was at a dog breeder up in Larkspur. Gunbill German Shepards breeds and imports pedigree German Shepards, and has a large property out in the country for raising and training their dogs. As part of the training program, they needed someone to socialize their puppies and take care of other miscellaneous chores.
To Skylar and Yvonne’s delight, the owner of Gunbill German Shepards liked what he saw on Skylar’s resume and called to schedule an interview. The interview didn’t go as planned, when a winter storm blew in. With road conditions unsuitable for travel due to the drifting snow, neither Yvonne nor the ASL interpreter were able to make it to the scheduled interview. Skylar was determined to land the job, and braved the storm to meet with Izzet, the owner, for the interview. He was impressed with her commitment, and they communicated the best they could without an interpreter. Though there wasn’t a lot of communication, the message came through loud and clear – Skylar is a hard worker with great work ethic.
Izzet was so impressed, that he scheduled a second interview. This time the interpreter was there, so they were able to carry on a proper conversation. Izzet explained the job duties, got to know Skylar a little, and offered her the job. She was ecstatic, and promptly accepted. Since starting the job, Skylar has molded into her role and become a valuable member of the team. The dogs absolutely love her, and the owner is consistently pleased with her performance and dedication to the job. In a letter telling about her experience, Skylar says “I love working with animals. I grew up with animals all my life. I feel like I have a natural bond with animals”. She goes on to express her appreciation to Yvonne and to The IC for helping her get the job. It’s clear that she found the right fit.
The IC’s Employment department can help anyone with a disability prepare to enter the workforce. Whether it’s reentry into the workforce or searching for a job for the first time, we have all the tools that you or your loved one will need to get prepared. A few of the things you can learn are: creating resumes and cover letters, dressing for success, mock interviews, meeting job expectations, communicating with your supervisor, and numerous other essential skills necessary for finding meaningful employment. If you would like to learn more about The IC’s Employment program, visit us on the web at http://bit.ly/theicemployment or by phone at 719-471-8181.