Deaf Initiatives, Inc.

563 S. Dawson Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43209
(614) 238-3323
(800) 895-3323 - toll free
(614) 238-3322 fax
Email: TheDEAFund@aol.com

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

WORK EXPERIENCE MODEL

The idea for Keepsake Theme Quilts evolved from the desire to develop a product to support Deaf Initiatives as well as to create a work experience model for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. The goal was to identify a venture that was hands-on, visually oriented and lending itself to a beginning-to-end process. Making and selling t-shirt theme quilts met these criteria. Both the product and processes seemed to be a match for producing income and developing a deaf friendly work environment, one that is conducive to communication, motivation and linguistic/cultural sensitivity.

The primary goals of KTQ’s Work Experience Model (WEM) are to:

  • provide an accessible, innovative program that is designed to maximize learning potential of deaf young adults;
  • be accountable through evaluating effectiveness of the program and success of students’ participation;
  • maintain resources to aide in positive transitions from work experience to the world of work; and
  • meet the needs of these young deaf and hard of hearing adults and allow them to practice new skills that contribute to successful employment and satisfying careers.

QuintinaThrough a generous grant from the Jobs for Columbus Graduates Fund of The Columbus Foundation, Deaf Initiatives employed 3 high school students this summer.  The three young students are from local high schools and have done a tremendous job in their role as Junior Production Assistants.  The team is lead by the Work Experience Model Coordinator, Jessica Powers.  Jessica has worked with Deaf Initiatives in a variety of capacities over the years, starting as a teenager working at KTQ and attending our workshops.  Since that time, Jessica has graduated from Gallaudet University and has become an integral member of the KTQ and WEM team.


We are currently seeking additional students to work during the 2013-2014 school year.  If you know a student who is seeking a job opportunity in a unique, signing environment, please contact us.