‘Why I want to be an Intervenor’ by Emily Bannon
Emily Bannon is currently in her final year of the Intervenor for Deafblind Persons Program at George Brown College. We asked her to tell us what inspired her to pursue this line of work. Here is what she said:
“I’ve always loved and had a knack for learning languages. When I was in Grade 10, Switched at Birth [an American TV series featuring a number of deaf characters] starting airing and I got really interested in learning American Sign Language. I then took an ASL night class at the local college and discovered I really enjoyed it and wanted to learn more.
In September 2015, after graduating high school, I moved to Toronto to start the American Sign Language and Deaf Studies Program at George Brown College. At first I struggled talking with my Deaf teachers because I didn’t know enough signs, but through writing and gestures I began to improve. As I continued to learn signs, my love for the language continued to grow.
In the spring of that year, my classmates and I attended two panels. One was about the new Interpreting Program and the other was about the Intervenor for Deafblind Persons Program. I attended the Interpreter panel first and listened to the information. I liked the idea of being able to continue to use ASL, however I did not like the idea of standing in front of very large crowds. It just wasn’t the right fit for me.
Then I went to the Intervenor panel and I knew as soon as it started that this was what I wanted to do! I loved how I would get to work more one on one with people and get to hopefully build a strong relationship with them. I would still get to use my ASL, but I would also get to learn and use many new communication methods, like two hand manual, oral intervening, large print notes, calendar systems, and more.
I loved the variety of being an Intervenor. Each person who is Deafblind is unique and, as a result, each communication method and the way I intervene with each of them, is unique as well. Every day is a different experience.”