The Intervenor Organization of Ontario (IOO) is the professional organization for intervenors who work with people who are DeafBlind in Ontario. An intervenor is a trained professional who provides access to information for people who are DeafBlind so that a person who is DeafBlind may participate in their community however they so choose. Intervenors are trained in a variety of communication methods and sighted guide to ensure safe travel and take direction from the person who is DeafBlind. For people who are DeafBlind, intervenors are one means to provide access.
The IOO is currently investigating the possibility of supporting intervenors across Canada, expanding our reach beyond Ontario.
Prior to expanding nationally, the IOO is attempting to gather baseline data and information on
intervenors across Canada, such as the number of intervenors, their training/background, and work conditions. This information will help us in planning future initiatives, focusing our efforts on specific areas of the country, and better understanding the needs of intervenors.
Over the past several decades, numerous studies have been conducted that have focused on Canada’s
DeafBlind community, while intervenors have never been studied as a separate group. Intervenors play a vital role in services for Canadians who are DeafBlind, though relatively little is known about this group of professionals. Although the IOO cannot unequivocally speak to the experiences of intervenors across Canada, we know that anecdotally, there are intervenors working in various pockets of Canada, and are often doing so in isolation with little support.
This study, which will be known as the “National Sample Survey of Intervenors in Canada” (NSSIC), is the first of its kind in Canada, and can be thought of as a census of intervenors in Canada. To stay on top of emerging trends and changes within the field in Canada and ensure we are aware of the changing needs of intervenors across Canada, we will aim for the NSSIC to be conducted every five years moving forward.
To gather data and information for the NSSIC, members of the IOO board will be contacting consumer organizations run by people who are DeafBlind, service providers, school boards, and other stakeholders who work with/employ intervenors in Canada or support people who are DeafBlind. We also hope to connect with individual people who are DeafBlind and intervenors (respectively) who can speak to their own specific situation and experiences in various regions of Canada. The IOO recognizes that it will not be possible to reflect and speak to every individual intervenor in Canada, which is why this project is a sample survey of intervenors.
Because a consensus has not been reached as to the specific role, function, and job title of intervenors in Canada, the NSSIC will also collect information on Support Service Providers (SSP’s) and related professionals.
The project will be overseen by the IOO Vice-President, Laura Aguiar. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Laura by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Members of the IOO board will begin reaching out to collect data in early June. We anticipate the results of the first ever NSSIC being published in January of 2021.
We look forward to collaborating with DeafBlind people, intervenors, and organizations across the country to learn more about the situation of intervenors in Canada.
President, Intervenor Organization of Ontario