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employee training and qualifications, machine shop, special needs employees, training (general)
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  #1  
Old 2nd December 2011, 08:23 AM
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WKHANNA WKHANNA is offline
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Please Help! Special Training Tools for the Deaf in a Machine Shop

I normally take pride in my training process and abilities.
However I have just been faced with a situation that is new to me.
We have hired an individual who is deaf to work in our machine shop.
He will be starting out performing lower skill level duties such as de-burring and manual operations on drill, mill and saw equipment initially. After one day he has demonstrated impressive skill and knowledge for someone with no formal training.

Obviously, safety is my foremost concern, but I was also hoping for suggestions on techniques that can help with communication. I have no training in sign language and all communication thus far has been limited to hand written notes.

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  #2  
Old 2nd December 2011, 08:39 AM
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AndyN AndyN is offline
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Question Re: Special Training Tools for the Deaf in a Machine Shop

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by WKHANNA View Post

I normally take pride in my training process and abilities.
However I have just been faced with a situation that is new to me.
We have hired an individual who is deaf to work in our machine shop.
He will be starting out performing lower skill level duties such as de-burring and manual operations on drill, mill and saw equipment initially. After one day he has demonstrated impressive skill and knowledge for someone with no formal training.

Obviously, safety is my foremost concern, but I was also hoping for suggestions on techniques that can help with communication. I have no training in sign language and all communication thus far has been limited to hand written notes.
Maybe find someone who has ASL expertise (like an 'interpreter, just for certain tasks) and have them come in to work with you? Or take an ASL course?

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  #3  
Old 2nd December 2011, 10:39 AM
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WKHANNA WKHANNA is offline
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Re: Special Training Tools for the Deaf in a Machine Shop

I personally would welcome ASL training, if only I didn’t have 12 ASCQ PPAP’s sitting in my ‘To Do’ file along with all my other responsibilities.

I was wondering if others have found or developed ‘short cuts’ for communication such as laminated picture charts for describing routine activities or other graphic or electronic methods for quickly communicating common or basic activities.
Thanks to WKHANNA for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
  #4  
Old 2nd December 2011, 11:02 AM
Golfman25 Golfman25 is offline
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Re: Special Training Tools for the Deaf in a Machine Shop

Ask the guy what he thinks. He may be more or less comfortable with certain techinques. Or has used certain sources in the past. Or can point you to resources.

I am also thinking an Ipad like device. There has to be an app for that. ??? Good luck.
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  #5  
Old 2nd December 2011, 11:10 AM
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WKHANNA WKHANNA is offline
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Re: Special Training Tools for the Deaf in a Machine Shop

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In Reply to Parent Post by Golfman25 View Post

I am also thinking an Ipad like device. There has to be an app for that. ??? Good luck.
Yeah, he uses his cellphone texting well, wish we had the resouces for IPads for everyone!

Thanks for your input!
  #6  
Old 2nd December 2011, 11:16 AM
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Re: Special Training Tools for the Deaf in a Machine Shop

You have the same dilemma that many who come in contact with Deaf persons have, how to communicate. I have two Deaf sons who have far surpassed their school teachers' thoughts as to how far they would progress in life. I do know ASL, but was taught it by one of my sons. All our family know ASL and three of us are certified interpreters. However, I would not suggest that you get an interpreter unless it is for a safety meeting as with most agencies the minimum charge is for 2 hours and they run from $75 to $120 per hour. Also, some agencies have the requirement that if you have an interpreter for over 3 hours you must have 2 or more so they can trade off during the course of time. So it gets really complicated.

For your dilemma, I would suggest that you, through written communication so there is no confussion, ask the deaf employee to help you with your communications with him. You will be surprised what will happen to you knowledge of ASL, if he knows it. Not all Deaf know ASL as it is taught in the schools. You will be able to find out the signs that he knows so that you will be able to communicate with him.

Good luck and you will be amazed at what your employee will be able to do!
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  #7  
Old 2nd December 2011, 11:38 AM
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Jennifer Kirley Jennifer Kirley is offline
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Re: Special Training Tools for the Deaf in a Machine Shop

As the new employee has a condition covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) the employer is required by law to ask the employee what accomodations are needed to perform adequately in the job.

Obviously, as you have already noted this person cannot perform in exactly the same way as other employees. The ADA recognizes that and has provided guidance on performance and conduct standards for people with disabilities. So, as described by ADA Questions and Answers page, you have rightly asked what reasonable accomodation should be made for a deaf individual. An excerpt from the ADA Q&A:
Quote:
Q. What kinds of auxiliary aids and services are required by the ADA to ensure effective communication with individuals with hearing or vision impairments?

A. Appropriate auxiliary aids and services may include services and devices such as qualified interpreters, assistive listening devices, notetakers, and written materials for individuals with hearing impairments; and qualified readers, taped texts, and Brailled or large print materials for individuals with vision impairments.
At minimum you need to see to safety requirements. Fire alarms need to have a visual cue, for example a flashing light, and egress points need to be clearly and easily identified.

The Job Accomodation Network provides business resources for accomodations, in this case for the hearing impaired. I understand you are busy, but I strongly encourage you to review that page because it gives a lot of EEOC-sanctioned guidance that I would just be repeating.

It has occurred to me that you could learn basic sign language such as

1) How is it going here?
2) What is the problem?
3) What do you need for your job?

So then the person will need a way to respond to you in a manner you can understand. To simplify things it seems worthwhile to make a placard with a series of written simple responses which comprise a list of typical job-related requests that this person could just point to, and use a tablet for him to provide details. I saw a reusable scribble pad at Staples called the Boogie Board. (It's cheaper at Amazon.com) A small dry erase board may also work fine.

Then there is the matter of job instructions. When demonstrations don't suffice, instructions will need to be complete and detailed enough to replace the long verbal explanations that so often replace actual written procedures. If you want to give verbal training, an interpreter may be needed. There is software available called Signtel Interpreter. I am not affiliated with Signtel, and I do not know how accurate it is - but it looks pretty neat.

The Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center lists resource providers by state.

During the research for this post I have seen that costs of accomodations you supply can be written off your business taxes. Please ask your accountant for details so you can keep the needed documents for writeoffs.

I am really glad to learn you are so far pleased with this employee, and I hope that you and he will more fully explore his potential with you. It could be very rewarding! Kudos for taking these early first steps.

__________________

"If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail." Abraham Maslow

Last edited by Jennifer Kirley; 2nd December 2011 at 11:49 AM. Reason: Added Signtel link
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  #8  
Old 2nd December 2011, 11:59 AM
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lfrost lfrost is offline
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Re: Special Training Tools for the Deaf in a Machine Shop

Jennifer,

Your research in the matter is very helpful for all who come in contact with and who hire Deaf persons. You really put a lot of effort and thought into your reply. I for one, am pleased with your suggestions and hope the OP is also.
Thanks to lfrost for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
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