Deafblind Community Service Bloggers
Born and raised in Toronto, Vanessa May has been with CNIB Deafblind Community Services for nearly a decade. After starting out as an intervenor, Vanessa eventually made her way over to the organization’s literacy program, which has been a great fit given her eclectic work history in film, theatre, aviation, and construction. She says it’s all been useful at one point or another – she’s a big believer in transferable skills!
When she’s not working or debating with her four-year-old, Vanessa is living out her lifelong dream of being in a band. “The band is truly terrible,” she says, “but it is a great reminder to keep up with my passions!”
Literacy specialist Kim Setzer is a life-long learner who is passionate about empowering individuals with the courage, confidence and skills needed to live independently.
Kim is a tech junky who loves to tinker with the latest accessible apps and adaptive technology. She’s also a self-professed optimistic problem solver who has a hearty appetite for humour and attempts to get in at least three belly laughs a day.
She’s all about walking the walk and so, as she says, “It’s time to dust off the old bucket list and find the courage and confidence to do something I’ve never done before. Yep, write a blog, gulp. They say the best things in life come from living outside your comfort zone. Here’s to taking that first big step!”
In her seven years with CNIB Deafblind Community Services (DBCS), Melinda Allen has held a variety of roles including literacy instructor, scheduler, trainer, community liaison and now, intervenor. She says she’s very excited about being with DBCS team as the organization heads into some really special times.
Melinda is passionate about both disability studies and disability policy, and is currently pursuing a degree in both areas. She is particularly interested in how policy decisions involving and affecting people with disabilities are made. Blogging is a first-time adventure for Melinda, but she is excited to work on creating content that is relevant and interesting!
When she’s not working as an intervenor, Melinda spends time with her family and dogs, going for runs, reading and searching for the latest, greatest doughnuts!
Based out of Toronto, Bethany works as an intervenor with CNIB Deafblind Community Services (DBCS). After graduating from the intervenor program at George Brown College in 2013, Bethany began to work in the congenital field and is now happily working in the acquired field at DBCS.
In her spare time, Bethany enjoys cooking, music, travelling, and watching Netflix marathons. One of her personal goals is to learn more about the pro-tactile world. She has always strongly enjoyed writing and is excited to connect it with her passion for the Deafblind community as a DBCS blogger. She says she looks forward to embarking on this journey of writing within the DBCS community!
Born and raised in South America, Carolina Cohoon has been abroad for almost half of her life! A big believer in the power of storytelling as a form of inspiration and education, she says she looks forward to sharing her thoughts that come from everyday experience, research and mindfulness through her blogs.
A life-long learner and passionate volunteer in the community, Carolina is also a mom to her busy tween as well as her 12-pound gorgeous poodle mix (whom, she says, it’s hard to say “no” to).
During her time in Canada, Carolina has been introduced to this wonderful and rewarding field in which she has built new perspectives and outlooks about life. If you had asked her many years ago, she says she would have had no idea that she’d be educating so many people about rethinking disability and designing for diversity! Carolina is honoured and grateful to be a Canadian, and to work in a field that reduces inequalities while opening new doors.
Provincial Project Coordinator
Janine Tucker has been a part of the CNIB Deafblind Community Services (DBCS) team since 1995. In that time, she says, she has witnessed many of the amazing changes that DBCS has experienced – particularly in the last five years. She says she’s excited to see what’s in store for the organization, as they look to expand services throughout Canada.
Janine is very excited to be a DBCS blogger and looks forward to sharing her thoughts on trends, successes and challenges within the Deafblind services field. She is particularly fascinated with the pro-tactile movement. She says it has forever changed the way visual information is provided to people who are Deafblind, for the better.
In her personal time, Janine is a weaver and loves all things crafty. She also enjoys spending time wandering around antique shops and travelling.
Talent Development Coordinator
Sally Teng has been working in the human resources and client services field for more than a decade. Along the way, she has obtained comprehensive experience in analyzing talent competency and business goals, facilitating talent development strategy, as well as generating talent pipelines for current and future organizational needs.
With an educational background in the social services sector, Sally says she shares the same values as CNIB Deafblind Community Services in its mission to enrich lives and enable independence for people who are Deafblind. Sally is passionate about promoting clients’ self-confidence and helping them thrive to reach their full potential.