Today's staff spotlight features JerriAnn McFarland, Office Manager of Deaf Community Services. JerriAnn has dedicated 16 years to Easter Seals Crossroads through assisting individuals who are Deaf, and she continues to make a difference in our community each and every day. We asked JerriAnn to tell us more about why she decided to learn sign language, why she joined Easter Seals Crossroads, and what keeps her motivated.
When did you decide to learn sign language? What made you come to that decision?
I don’t think I ever really decided to learn sign language. It was the language used in the household when I was born. Both my grandparents were Deaf so learning to sign was not really an option but a necessity in order to communicate with them.
Has sign language impacted you in ways other than employment? If so, how?
I believe sign language has impacted my life by becoming a big part of my life. I have many friends who are Deaf, as well as family members, so being able to effectively communicate with them means a lot to me.
What got you interested in applying for a position with Easter Seals Crossroads? Or, how did you hear about the job and why did you want to apply?
I became interested in applying for a job with Deaf Community Services as a way to make my Grandpa proud of me, and to feel a part of the Deaf world. My mom was/is a working interpreter and my grandparents were Deaf so this was my “in” I was already part of the community but I needed to feel like I had role in the community.
How long have you been a staff member?
I have been a staff member since February 15, 1999. Wow, seeing that in black and white makes it seem so official. It doesn’t feel like it’s been 16 years.
What keeps you motivated to be the best at what you do?
My motivation to do my best stems from actually loving what I do, and having a purpose. I also know that being here made my grandpa so proud and now that he is no longer here I feel this keeps me connected to him.
Is there a story of someone you have served that has stayed with you over the years?
All of the clients that I have worked with in one capacity or another have a place in my heart, so to give a specific story is a bit of a challenge to me. I appreciate knowing the clients trust me and are appreciative when they continue to see me year after year.
Visit our web page for more information about sign language interpretation, case management services, and requesting an interpreter through Deaf Community Services.