Nov 23

“Intervenors are the eyes and ears for consumers”

Katie (centre) with fellow intervenors Alexa (left) and Marta (right).

Katie (centre) with fellow intervenors Alexa (left) and Marta (right).

At CHKC, Intervenor (IV) Services is imperative for people who are deafblind.

An intervenor acts as the eyes and the ears of a CHKC consumer. A consumer is a person who is deafblind, and who accesses programs and services from CHKC.

Katie Metauro has worked at CHKC since January 2012, after she graduated from the Intervenor for Deafblind Persons Program at George Brown College.

“I work at CHKC because I believe in their mission, their vision and their values,” says Katie.

As a valuable CHKC employee, Katie has key insights for those who are looking to become intervenors.

“To be an effective intervenor, you first have to love what you do, and second, you have to know that what you do is meaningful and rewarding.”

Being an intervenor means that at times consumers simply want to get a coffee, or sit on a park bench.

Other times, intervenors are accompanying consumers on doctor appointments.

Katie continues, “In these situations, just because I know the consumer’s personal health information, doesn’t mean that I can share it. I am the eyes and ears only. The doctor must always speak to and only to the consumer.”

Katie chuckles when she says, “I am a mobile accessible device… who drives!”

At the beginning of her career Katie looked into the congenital field but her placements were with adults who acquired deafblindness. “It was outside of my comfort zone, I was used to working with children. However, I welcomed the challenge.”

Intervenors, Katie believes, “must always maintain professional boundary lines, because we are in intimate settings with the consumers that we support. Our job is to provide visual auditory information for consumers to make informed decisions.”

She also says, “Consumers are every day people living in an inaccessible world.”

At CHKC consumers receive 24 hours of IV services a week. They use this time to do such things as grocery shopping, going to the bank, attending doctor appointments and going for walks around their neighbourhood. Intervenors are there to ensure consumers are able to access the world and environment around them.

Katie says, “The reward, for me, is knowing I have provided access for a consumer to engage with their community. It’s those simple pleasures that make this job worthwhile.”

Donate TODAY and help more Canadians who are deafblind access IV services from CHKC.