Sunday, March 4, 2007


Melissa Fears-Henley making a point while Kim Fears watches


Session One: The Elephpant in the Room

It was a workshop presented by Melissa Fears-Henley and Kim Fears.

From the flyer "Professionals working with deaf and hard of hearing people are often aware of underlying tensions and expectations that dramatically affect the overt success of their work. These unspoken, semi-conscious understandings and expectations could be referred to as "The Elephant in the Room". Everyone knows it is there, but no one wants to bring it up. This workshop will attempt to bring these issues out in the open and define them, as well as give the professional useful tools to be able to address these dynamics when they are not positive. This will be accomplished through the following:

"Defining the Expert, Adversary and Support Model of professional/client relationship"

"Clarifying the strengths and weaknesses of each, as well as explaining how and why they develop"

"Provide techniques to be used from the onset to set up the professional/client relationships to the most positive way possible"

"Give suggestions to turn an existing, troubled relationship toward a more positive, overt relationship pattern"

This event is funded by Missouri Department of Mental Health.

Interpreters are provided by Lakes Country Resource Cener, DHH Employment Services.

Thanks to MoDARA for providing workshops and GSLAD for using their facility.

Next two workshops are:

Session Two: Collaboration and the Crab

Friday, April 6, 2007 - 9 to 11:30 a.m. GSLAD 2190 Creve Couer Mill Road, St. Louis, Missouri 63043

"Competitiveness and defensiveness often gets in the way of agencies and professionals working together to provide the best possible support to the deaf/hard of hearing client. This workshop will explore the reasons this exists, as well as exploring ways to overcome these patterns to be as effective as possible in the work we do.

Crab Theory, much more complex than many people realize, will be explored and its impact on the field discussed. Competition for funding sources makes concern about collaborating to provide service an important area for social services to explore. Possibilities for mutually beneficial collaborative relationships will be investigated, as well as outlines provided as to how to set these up.

Examples of collaborative relationships established by professionals serving other undervalued groups will be presented, in order to stimulate creative thinking and provoke similar connections in working with deaf and hard of hearing people. "

Session Three: How to Say What You See: Resistance, Friction, and Debriefing

Friday, June 1, 2007 - 9 to 11:30 a.m. GSLAD 2190 Creve Coeur Mill Road, St. Louis, Missouri 63043

"We have all had the experience of doing everything we know to do to support a client and yet something does not click and good support for the person does not occur. Reasons for these roadblocks and potential solutions will be explored:

What are common reasons for resistance to help from a professional, and what are reasons unique to the deaf and hard of hearing client?

How to determine if the friction between you and a client should be ignored, seen as positive, addressed, or means you should refer the client to someone else.

How do you address interaction problems between you and the client? This process, called debriefing, has the potentional to result in powerful positive changes. Understanding the process, and how to use it, can make a professional much more effective in his/her work.

What is the difference in debriefing and defusing, when and how do you use each one, and why?"

For more information on these workshops, contact Melissa Fears-Henley at info