Deaf Initiatives, Inc.

563 S. Dawson Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43209
(614) 238-3323
(800) 895-3323 - toll free
(614) 238-3322 fax

Deaf Initiatives, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Summer Internship 2007

Sriram BalasubramanianSriram Balasubramanian
Major: Information Technology
Co-op: Crane Plastics

"It has been a wonderful experience, an overwhelming one; if I can say that! Crane Plastics, not only made me feel that I was an intern but the first day I simply felt that I was just a regular employee clocking in the 9-5 shift!! I always have carried this philosophy "Failure isn't't an option. It is part and will always be part of our lives." No wonder there were numerous projects assignments handed out to me! They were met with success at the latter stage. My confidence, skills, and philosophical thought finally saw me though. I will always cherish this engineering experience for it is my passion in terms of a career. It has been a fantastic experience interacting with my superiors all the way down the line to the operator. I have also had the opportunity within the organization to solve process issues in production and quality engineering.Last and finally last, a word of thanks to Meredith Crane for her support and timely help regarding housing options and everything else."

Sriram"Sriram has been a pleasure to work with. He is a very bright & intelligent and brought with him a skill set that has helped Crane. Once we found his "niche" of what he liked to work on, he has taken the tasks and completed them with rigor. His hearing deficiency has only been a small problem until we learned to communicate with him. Now, we are used to his dialect and when we have more complex problems we either write on a dry erase board or via email."
-Ryan McCort, Sriram's supervisor, Crane Plastics

Casey Kelly
Major: Computer Aided Drafting Technology/ Information Technology
Co-op: Crane Performance Siding

"Before I came here to Crane Performance Siding for a Co-op experience, I felt I would be a rookie and felt awkward because there are a lot of difficult engineering terms. I thought I might have a hard time understanding the concepts, or struggle with discussing issues with the engineering co-workers. I was definitely wrong. Crane Performance Siding has a lot of wonderful people to work with. They were very helpful and I am 100% sure that I learned 2 to 3 times more than what I learned in the classroom. The experience is exactly what the student needs for their success in the future and it applies to what you learned in the class. Right now, I feel I am filled with confidence that I can share my ideas and concepts after this experience. I am glad I was chosen to work with Crane Performance Siding and wish them continue a success at their business. Thank you."

"We were fortunate that our assignments matched up pretty well to Casey's interest in CAD while staying close to Information Technology subject matter. His education and interests span both areas. We were able to assign Casey meaningful projects that work with primary objectives and not just busy work."
-Wayne Hacker, Casey's supervisor, Crane Performance Siding

Ashley HofkampAshley Hofkamp
Major: Digital Imaging and Publishing Technology: Web Developer
Co-op: Deaf Initiatives, Inc.& Deaf Services Center

"I am grateful to Deaf Initiatives and Deaf Services Center for the offering of a position to fulfill my NTID Co-op. Working for these Deaf Organizations has given me the confidence I needed and the opportunity to develop my skills as web developer. The experience has been wonderful and has also given me the chance to access my abilities and to make plans for my future career. The encouragement from the staff and relationships established has been most beneficial. And I thank Deaf Initiatives and Deaf Services Center for the opportunity. I wish them much success in their future."

"We couldn't be more delighted with Ashley as our Co-op student. She is intelligent, creative, and very easy to communicate with. Ashley always came to work with a smile on her face, ready to tackle any project we gave her. Having a Co-op student from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf has been a most rewarding and worthwhile experience. We are looking forward to our next Co-op student from NTID."
-Meredith Crane, Ashley's supervisor, Deaf Initiatives, Inc.

"We have truly enjoyed having Ashley as our Co-op student. Because of her creative and intellectual ability, we were able to proceed forth with projects that needed someone of her technological expertise. She worked rapidly and was able to finish the tasks assigned well ahead of time. She was a warm and intelligent individual who worked well in a team environment. It has been a pleasure working with this wonderful young woman and we look forward to another wonderful experience with a Co-op student from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf."
-John L. Moore, Ashley's supervisor, Deaf Services Center

Summer Internship 2008

Brandon Coleman
Major: Engineering
Co-op: Crane Plastics

"I love my co-op experience at Crane Performance Siding! I am working on my degree in Civil Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), so this experience is perfect for me. I have a variety of things I work on like design auto cad and chamber testing. Chamber testing is where I make sure the siding is okay in hot or cold conditions. The workplace is like one big happy family. Communication is not a problem at all! I can lip-read well and we email, write notes, and sometimes they understand my speech. I want to thank my boss, Jeff Bycynski, and Robin Lynch, their Human Resource Director, for giving me this wonderful opportunity to learn and prove myself. I couldn’t have found a better place to work."

"Our goal was to expose Brandon Coleman to as many disciplines as possible in our engineering group. This would include mechanical design engineering, material performance testing, facilities layouts, facility improvements and ‘green’ engineering. We accomplished a number of assignments. He has taken an assistant design role with our mechanical engineer on a capital project that adds a new production line to our facility. Brandon’s AutoCad experience has been a big plus on this project. We also have a number of facility projects he completed that allows our group to make sound engineering decisions. Brandon’s attention to detail is a key attribute with our product testing of materials. He follows test procedures and provides data to the Technical Manger. Soon, we will look to Brandon to help us with a preliminary engineer draft of some Green projects related to the facility. Our communication paths to work with Brandon are notes, e-mails and lip-reading. We did begin his session with an interpreter. We discussed goals and objectives and Brandon was able to ask questions. We jointly said that we would use the interpreter as needed. So far, that has not been necessary. From our viewpoint, the communication has been very good."
-Jeff Bycynski, Director of Operations, Crane Plastics Performance Siding

Reyes Presiado
Major: Accounting
Co-op: Defense Finance and Accounting Services

"It was an interesting experience living and working in Columbus, Ohio for my co-op. I was eager to start my internship at Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) since it would be my first experience working with a government organization. I was amazed at how the work environment was disability friendly and I met many people with various kinds of physical disabilities. DFAS provides interpreting services for their 60 plus deaf workers. After the first few days of orientation, I was assigned to a rather repetitious job, but, after proving myself, I was challenged with a new project: to update the emergency planning recovery system database. Using the skills I learned at RIT through the Accounting in Bachelor of Science degree, I worked hard with my team to complete a complicated project that kept me busy! This helped me become familiar with a critical aspect of business and the importance of collecting accurate data. I feel this was a good experience for me because I learned how to work with many different kinds of people and systems that will help me in the future."

"Reyes Presiado has been actively involved in updating an emergency planning recovery system database; preparing contracts, invoices, receiving reports and other accounts payable documentation for input into an electronic document management system; writing for a student intern newsletter; and assisting in preparing a newsletter focused on one of DFAS' customers. He has also actively participated in teambuilding activities, had job shadowing opportunities, taken on-line eLearning courses, and attended professional development organization meetings."
-Tim Strom Leaders in Motion Program DFAS Columbus

Kirsten Donica
Major: Accounting
Co-op: Defense Finance and Accounting Services

"Before I came here to DFAS for a co-op experience, I was so nervous because this was my first real job in my whole life. It was an awesome experience; I found out that DFAS is a great workplace for deaf people. They have a lot of wonderful people who I feel comfortable being around. Some of the hearing people know sign language since about 60 deaf people work at DFAS. I was given a great opportunity to communicate with hearing people by using Microsoft Messengers like AIM or email, but I still use an interpreter for meetings. My supervisor, Bill McGee, is a wonderful person willing to help me understanding the real job world and he explains projects that I work on clearly because he is deaf as well. I am lucky to have such easy communication with my supervisor during my co-op. I learned that there are many significant differences between what I learned in my Business courses at RIT and how things actually work in the real world. I’m really thankful to DFAS and the wonderful people. My recommendation is that DFAS provides a great opportunity for summer interns to learn and to prepare for success in their future."

Amardeep Sekhri
Major: Management Information System
Co-op: Deaf Initiatives, Inc.& Deaf Services Center

"I feel lucky to have two different part time co-op experiences. Both Deaf Initiatives (DI) and Deaf Services Center (DSC) shared my time forming an internship that allowed me to face many challenges and produce real outcomes. My two job experiences gave me the opportunity to work in different environments allowing me to use a variety of creative and innovative computer skills. I have learned how to work independently myself. I am now also skilled at using the Columbus Library to read computer books and learn new computer skills from them as well as tutorials online. I am using the skills I learned in the Management Information Systems Program at Rochester Institute of Technology to work with staff and supervisors. We share ideas and concepts about the development, designing and implementation of websites, databases, and programming needs. I am thankful to both DI and DSC for giving me this great opportunity to work in Ohio. I will take my new skills and the experiences I learned in this internship with me when I search for a full time job in future."

"Amardeep Sekhri has grown since he first started work with Keepsake Theme Quilts. Because of logistics, his internship changed from a database developer to website designer. He was very flexible with the changes and jumped in with both feet to make changes and improvements to both Keepsake Theme Quilts and Deaf Initiatives web-sites. He is now working on a new interactive page to allow customers to design their own quilts on line. His innovative ideas are moving us forward in a competitive market."
-Anna Naumann, Office Manager, Deaf Initiatives.

"It has been a pleasure working with Amardeep Sekhri as he is a pleasant person to work with and has an excellent analytical mind. He possesses a wide variety of computer and technical skills which was used in many ways. He has shown to be a dedicated and committed individual and has shared ideas with our team that were beneficial. He has created a database for us using Access and SQL. He has worked on improving our current webpage using Dreamweaver and Photoshop. In addition, he has edited video feeds and added them for use through our webpage. We all at Deaf Services Center have truly enjoyed having him on board with us for the summer of 2008."
-John L. Moore, Executive Director, Deaf Services Center