For Jennifer Mountney, American Sign Language has always been part of her life, since she'd been interpreting for her mother from a young age. She was later introduced to CNIB by her sister, who worked for the organization, allowing for a natural transition into her role as an intervenor at CNIB Deafblind Community Services.
“There’s something about the Deafblind community,” says Jennifer. “It’s fascinating and different from what I’ve known. It became the catalyst for me applying and becoming an intervenor.”
Part of what she loves most about her job is that it’s always different. From shopping and going to the bank, to simply grabbing a coffee with her clients, each day holds something new. Sometimes it even means being involved in sharing in her clients' most intimate moments – doctor’s appointments, weddings and funerals.
“I love what I do,” says Jennifer. “I find being an intervenor to be a privilege – knowing I’m invited into the lives of my clients, and that I’m a tool to help them be exactly who they were meant to be. It’s an honour and something that I don’t take for granted.”
From an intervenor’s perspective, Jennifer wants the community to know that it’s okay to ask questions. She says the only time her clients feel isolated or different is when people make them feel that way by not approaching, engaging or allowing them to participate.
“At the end of the day, this person with hearing loss or vision loss is journeying in the same way you are,” she says. “They’re just using different tools and different ways to do it.”