Overcoming Barriers to Employment with Goodwill Guides

    [fa icon="calendar"] Apr 18, 2017 11:30:00 AM / by Jenny Kakasuleff

    Jenny Kakasuleff


    When Natasha Greenler was referred to Goodwill by a disability services provider, she had not worked in eight years, beyond her duties as a stay-at-home mom. Although she was a licensed esthetician, her lack of recent job history combined with a hearing impairment made it difficult for her to prove to potential employers in her area of expertise that she could communicate with clients and perform the tasks necessary to her role.

    Natasha Greenler
    Natasha joined Goodwill hoping her experience would have a positive impact on her path toward a more fulfilling career. As it turned out, Natasha left her mark on Goodwill.

    “I am inspired by Natasha,” said her former Store Manager at Goodwill. “She pursued strategies for success that helped her build up to communicating confidently with customers.”

    Natasha’s co-workers developed a system for her to call for assistance at the cash register by using rhythmic taps over the intercom. They also set up tablets with text-to-speech that enabled Natasha to easily communicate with customers and co-workers.

    Natasha with guide Nate
    “I’m incredibly proud of her,” said Nathan Miller, Natasha’s Goodwill Guide. “She had specific goals in mind, including putting her esthetician’s license to use, and was relentless in her drive to succeed.”

    Through the assistance of her Guide, Natasha learned to use Prezi (presentation software), which allows her to communicate visually with potential employers and clients on her iPad. Once she was comfortable using the software and communicating through the iPad, Nathan arranged for Natasha to job shadow for two days at a local beauty school where she could test out her new skills.

    Natasha works on the set of a photoshoot
    Natasha’s persistence resulted in a position with Salon 01 in Carmel where she has now worked for more than three years.

    “I love my job,” said Natasha. “I enjoy the environment, my co-workers and clients. I’m always working toward growing professionally.”

    Natasha Greenler
    Natasha expects to earn a realtor’s license in summer 2017 and will broaden her career prospects even further. She plans to use Prezi on her iPad to show homes and conduct other business.

    “With the right tools and opportunities, deaf people are capable of doing everything the hearing can do,” said Natasha.

    Topics: Employment, Disability, Success Story, Goodwill Guides, Retail

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