By: Trampes Brown, Peer Mentor Specialist
One day a blind guy is sitting in his office, an individual who is deaf, and one that is non-verbal walk into the room… no, this is not the beginning of the joke a Rabbi, Pastor and the Dalai Lama walk into a bar. Although, I think we may have a good start. The three person meeting I described was myself being blind, Christy Coughlin being deaf and Creighton Reed being a non-verbal individual. Christy and Creighton were my first mentoring match at Independence. They continue to work on American Sign Language skills together and have proven how beneficial this program can be for people with disabilities in our community. For example, “at first Creighton was only able to fingerspell words to me. As we have continued to practice, he is gaining new words all the time. He is fun to work with” said Coughlin. The ability for Christy to use her knowledge and experience provides her the opportunity to be involved and develop in many different ways. Creighton is grateful to work with Christy and recently described how the program has benefited him thus far. Reed stated, “Christy is a good teacher” and “signing personally helps me."
Peer Mentoring at has evolved into a valuable program at Independence, Inc. For more information or to enroll as a peer mentor, please contact myself at 701-839-4724, email@example.com.