“A Career for Life” Anna' Berardelli’s Story

Why did you become an intervenor?

- Becoming an Intervenor was never a thought that crossed my mind. To be honest I never even knew that deafblindness existed until I was doing my last field placement in Early Childhood Education at the Happy Hands pre school (Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf). That was where I saw a woman communicating with an individual using his hand on top of hers in conversation (which I now know as Tactile Sign Language). I was curious and wanted to know more so I inquired and found out he was deafblind. Once I graduated from ECE, I applied for the Intervenor for Deafblind Persons course and the rest is history.

Maintaining confidentiality, what was one of your most profound experiences as an intervenor?

- In my career I have worked closely with 5 children with varying abilities. They all have impacted me in different ways. It really is hard to narrow down just one moment that was profound in my career but if I had to choose one it would be with a student whom I worked with to try and teach the concept of weather. I had created what you could call a "weather board" that had different tactile and visual cues. I would change the cues daily according to the weather. I would bring the student outside then bring them back in and we together would hit the side by side switch to the corresponding picture cue of the weather. Then one day, only a few short weeks later, he alone hit the correct cue telling his classmates what the weather was that day. He had made the connection and understood the concept that the weather board was a representation of the weather outside. From that day forward he was room 109's weather man.

Since beginning your career, how have you grown and evolved as an intervenor?

- I have grown as an Intervenor through the years because I decided that it no longer was about me and what I had to prove to myself and others, it was all about the children and the ability to withdraw the potential that each individual had within themselves.

What advice would you share with a new intervenor?

- For anyone who wants to become an Intervenor the advice I have for you is to always believe that everyone has potential. No matter how small it may seem to some it may be a huge accomplishment for the individual with deafblindness.

What do you love about being an intervenor?

- Being an intervenor is my passion and I love it just as much as I love my family. The excitement of seeing them thrive and being able to communicate in any which way they can is what makes my heart smile everyday.

Over the course of your career, how have you seen the field change and evolve?

- I have seen the field evolve in a positive way but also in a negative way. In some areas, cuts have been made in the intervention field mainly in schools. I hope that professionals twill continue to educate themselves on deafblindness and see the great impact intervention has on an individual who is deafblind.

What would you say to someone considering a career as an intervenor?

- It is a rewarding career.