Employee Spotlight: Beth in Coon Rapids, Minnesota

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Beth, an Opportunity Services staff member with the Community Living Program in Coon Rapids, Minnesota has been with the company for over seven years. Beth brings a unique communication tool to the team in Coon Rapids: American Sign Language. Because Beth is deaf and has been since birth, she is able to communicate with the clients in a different way.

When she started working at Opportunity Services, Beth was curious if she would be able to do it. “I wasn’t sure if I could work with clients without being able to ‘hear’ in a traditional sense. I have been able to read lips and talk with my co-workers, and I also read the body language of our clients that are hard to understand,” explains Beth. Opportunity Services has provided Beth with the tools needed to succeed on the job. She uses an iPad, writes emails, texts on her phone, etc. to communicate with others. Technology has made communication much easier for Beth and other members of the deaf community.

Opportunity Services clients enjoy communicating with Beth in new ways. Some on the nonverbal clients have begun to learn signs and will sign along with Beth during story time. A few higher-functioning clients have actually expressed interest in having Beth teach ASL and co-workers enjoy having someone to call on if they cannot understand a client. “I’m happy to work for a company like Opportunity Services,” says Beth. “I’ve never thought of myself as different with my disability because I’ve always been deaf- it’s just a part of who I am. I’m glad I can bring different communication skills to the team and help clients to the best of my ability.” Thanks for sharing your talent with the team at OS, Beth!