Island Deaf & Hard of Hearing: April 2023 Business After Business
Hosted by Island Deaf & Hard of Hearing
Island Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre, the only non-profit agency of its kind on Vancouver Island, provides leadership, innovative solutions and services through engaging and educating communities, strengthening families, and fighting isolation.
In 1969 a group of concerned parents met to discuss the educational needs of their Deaf children. These families laid the groundwork for the Vancouver Island Society for Hearing Handicapped Children, a pre-school class at G. R. Pearkes Clinic and an elementary class at Marigold School. In 1971, in order to encompass all ages of the Island’s population with a hearing loss, the society became the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Institute of Vancouver Island. By that time, the Victoria School Board supported three classes for Deaf students and one for the hard of hearing. Programs, needs and numbers continued to grow and the Institute’s voice became stronger and clearer.
In 1978, a counsellor from the Western Institute for the Deaf (WID) – Vancouver office was hired and the Victoria Regional Office was established. The Institute and WID combined to become a United Way member in 1980. In order to streamline the community services, the two societies amalgamated in January 1982, to become the Western Institute for the Deaf – Vancouver Island Branch (WID-VIB). In July 1983, the WID-VIB became an incorporated society. In the fall of 1990, a Nanaimo office was opened, staffed by volunteers, with the first paid staff member hired in June 1991. The organization continued to operate as a branch of WID until August 30, 1991. Following lengthy negotiations and with the approval of the Island membership, Island Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre Association (IDHHC) was formed and took over the operations of WID-VIB on September 1, 1991. The new society was registered as an incorporated society and as a charitable organization.
Director of Operations & Client Services
Amanda spent twenty years working as an educator, education assistant, and community support worker where she planned and implemented a variety of programs for people of diverse ages and abilities. She also spent six years in a private audiology setting where she provided clinic support and administration services. Amanda is very excited to be in this role at IDHHC where she can build relationships with clients while supporting them in accessing the resources and tools available to them. During her time off, Amanda can be found exploring and photographing the many beaches and trails of Vancouver Island
Manager of Communication Services
Kristi is IDHHC’s Communication Services Manager and Interpreting/Captioning Coordinator. For the past 25 years, Kristi has worked as a Registered Sign Language Interpreter on Vancouver Island. She also coordinated Interpreting/Captioning services and worked as a Student Advisor at the University of Victoria for 12 years. Kristi enjoys connecting with the diverse range of clients that come in to the agency. She is passionate about creating barrier-free environments and empowering individuals. She is committed to social justice, equality, and has her own non-profit organization supporting children and families in Tanzania. She loves travelling, exploring, and spending time outdoors
Employment Case Manager
Janet is IDHHC’s Employment Advisor in Nanaimo. She has enjoyed putting her Psychology degree, H.R. Diploma, Life Coaching, and Career Development training to work in her 10+ year career in Employment Services and 12 years as a non-profit Executive Director. Janet values kindness and service to others, and therefore finds great satisfaction in helping people in her role at IDHHC. When she is not working at IDHHC as an Employment Counsellor, Janet keeps busy as a self-employed visual artist who enjoys bringing beauty into people’s lives in the form of paintings and fine art home décor.