So something I’ve been working on recently is applying for crisis textline’s crisis counselor training program. Crisis textline is a branch of the eight hundred suicide organization, where those in need can text for help rather than call. Some find it easier to do this, especially younger adults/ teenagers. And for some communicating vocally is so risky emotionally, or even in a sense of having others around that might overhear, that texting might be the only way for them to get help.
Below is a video explaining this from the organization.
From someone who is deaf/ hard of hearing.
I want to thank Edith my caseworker for finding this organization in the first place. We were looking for something I could do from home as there aren’t a lot of hotlines in the Chicago area. I want something I can do onmy own time in privacy before stepping into the world of possibly volunteering in person at a physical hotline location.
The application process was pretty straightforward. Unfortunately the application form itself is not accessible to NVDA and I don’t think other screen reading software. I only know about NVDA because that’s what I use. You can see the boxes but can’t go in like with a normal edit box where you can just hit enter it won’t let you there. I have no idea on how to make sites more accessible or even how to explain to a sighted person who probably has never heard of this what the issue was.
But Jared, an intern at the organization was so patient and nice about it. He said he’d be glad to fill in the application himself. I just saved a draft for him to fill in, sent the questions by e-mail and I was done. They ask a lot of questions about your passion for helping people, what issues you would feel most or least comfortable dealing with ETC and try to really get to know you.
The next part is having two character references. These can be anyone you want. I chose two very good friends who were glad to help.
I heard back saying I’d know by the 29th. So I was very surprised when I got an e-mail from Heather Cam yesterday saying I’ve been accepted!!
I was very excited and forwarded the e-mail to like everyone. Including telling all my twitter followers.
I’m really excited to start this journey. I’m told we’ll be doing a lot of online modules but also have sessions with webcam. It will be really cool to connect with others in my training group and others in the organization in general. I’m hoping to possibly make friends/ or at least connect/ share my passion for helping others with other like minded people.
I do wonder about accessibility and if any other blind/ visually impaired people have volunteered before. It’s ironic too that I don’t know how to text at all. I tried using google voice and it plain did not work and dictation hates me so yeah. Which is good they have an online platform. But never thought I’d be helping with a texting service of any kind.
Lastly I was sent an e-mail today asking for my thoughts on a team name for my class. Don’t quite know what this is about but sounds cool. I chose the comfort Kittens! So everyone who’s able to vote for that cause it’s awesome!
Seriously. If anyone reads this and has experience volunteering and has tips/ encouragement ETC please share. Especially anyone who’s blind/ visually impaired if possible. Training starts October sixth. Will keep everyone posted!