BY: CERENNA (Co-op Student, W. Ross Macdonald School
*Cerenna captures her experience with Sensity Training Department in a two part series acting as an Intervenor and going under deafblind simulation*
Observing a simulation really brought my attention to just how precise instructions need to be. In lacking communication, verbal or sign, it becomes difficult, for the intervenor to express the task with only touch.
I got really excited to go under simulation a few weeks later, and sitting at the table, with the blindfold and headphones was exciting. Lindsay touched my hand to her bun as a concrete cue in order to recognize her. She guided me down the hallway and around the front desk, through an automatic door and into a room. Mrs. McClure put my hand on her watch as another concrete cue, but I would know her anywhere. She helped me to wash my hands, the soap was nice. We proceeded to explore the countertop, there was a banana, an apple and some grapes. The grapes were in a plastic bag, and my immediate assumption is “We’re going to put them all in the bag”
Nope. We washed the fruits, and pulled out a knife and a strange tactile rubber mat, I’d later find out it was a non-slip cutting board. I figured out we were cutting the fruiting so began to cut the apple, I wasn’t sure if we needed chunks or slices, but no one stopped me, so I did chunks. We then moved on to the banana, which apparently I chopped quite quickly, (Brian and Lindsay may have been slightly concerned for the safety of my fingers)
I took the grapes off of the stem and put them into a large bowl, followed by the apple and banana. Mrs. McClure guided me to the silverware drawer to grab a spoon, we got to the table and the spoon caught on the edge and fell. I dropped the spoon. I quickly picked it up and washed it before mixing the fruit salad, and removing the blindfold.
Yesterday, I was an intervenor for Michelle, we made balloon stress balls. A box contained two samples, a balloon, a bag of rice, a bag of corn meal, two funnels and a few cups and Tupperware containers.
I introduced myself to Michelle by showing her my name tag with a hair tie looped through it, and then I gave her the sample stress balls for some context. I then got the bag of rice and corn meal, and helped Michelle pour the corn meal into a rectangular Tupperware and grabbed the empty balloon, cup and funnel. We fastened the end of the balloon to the funnel and began pouring the corn meal in. The corn meal got stuck easily so Lindsay gave me a pen to stab the corn meal down the funnel. This kind of helped. Michelle took the funnel off the balloon and tied it off. We talked afterward about what I could’ve done differently.
Overall, I enjoyed going under simulation and being an intervenor. It made me realize just how much work it can be to communicate, and how much empathy is needed. Showing someone how to perform a task is different than actually taking time to ensure both the intervenor and consumer receive the proper information and aren’t rushed. Rushing creates anxiety, which is never good, especially when someone is trying to understand a concept.