A Collaborative Partnership in Deaf Youth Transition


Thursday, November 3


1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.


Kathryn Eckert-Mason, Rebecca Emmert, and Miranda Featherstone


Come join us for a Presentation on a unique model of a collaborative partnership within the Salem area that is having an impact on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth in Transition. This project is going into its 6th year of existence and continues to grow. While the original setting for this model was exclusively Oregon School for the Deaf, it has grown over time to include students with hearing loss served by the Regional Program / Willamette Educational Service District. We currently serve students in a variety of high school settings. The model includes some creative ideas on thinking outside the box. Activities include group experiences as well as one on one supported experience. Services provided are career exploration, informational interviews and job shadows, group job club experiences and off campus work experiences where applicable. The program also emphasizes the importance of Deaf or Hard of Hearing role models and when possible we try to find such role models. It is all about partnering, and innovative ideas. For our students with American Sign Language communication needs our goal is to provide culturally competent services with ASL fluent staff. For our students in various mainstreamed settings, we assist with networking / connections for services within the community setting they are in with consultation for communication needs. Please join us for a lively discussion on Transition needs, services and communication access for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth.

Presenter Bio(s)

Kathryn Eckert-Mason, MS
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Counselor Specialist
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Kathryn has worked a total of 22 years in a Vocational Rehabilitation settings between two states. She has worked for Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation for the past 17 years, much of that time as the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Counselor Specialist for the state providing services to a caseload of primarily Deaf and Hard of Hearing consumers. Kathryn is an advocate for providing Culturally Competent services directly in ASL. These include the coordination and provision of services such as High School Transition, counseling and guidance, career exploration, job development, and job placement services. High School Transition has been a special passion over time. Kathryn serves on the Board of Hearing Loss Association of Oregon, the State’s Deaf-Blind Task Force and Work Group as well as the Board of OAVSNP. Kathryn’s passion for working with hearing loss came as a result of her own hearing loss.

Rebecca Emmert, MS, CRC
Independent Living Specialist Program Manager
Living Independently for Empowerment (LIFE) / Lane Independent Living Alliance
Becky graduated from Western Oregon University with a BS degree in American Sign Language / English Interpreting, minor in Psychology and then an MS Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling with emphasis on Deaf Services. She has worked in a variety of setting, mental health counseling, job development and youth transition. Becky is hard of hearing and is an active member of the local Deaf Community.

Miranda Featherstone
Employment and Youth Transition Independent Living Specialist
Living Independently for Empowerment (LIFE) / Lane Independent Living Alliance
Miranda has much experience working in the field of disabilities. She is fluent in American Sign Language and knowledgeable about Deaf Culture. She has been a real asset to the LIFE Program and Deaf youth in the program. Miranda is currently a graduate student at Western Oregon University in the Rehabilitation Counseling and Mental Health Program specializing in Deafness.

Presentation Materials