Gayblack Canadian Man

Foreign Policy Analysis
deaf@work: KRISTINE

[email protected]: KRISTINE


Growing up my dream was to
be a teacher because I love to teach! I never expected to be on this journey as an administrative officer at the Disability and Communication Access Board (DCAB). I mean, never would I have thought I’d be a supervisor. When I was teaching, I thought about being a lawyer because Hawaii lacks legal services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, it’s difficult to live here without legal support. I taught ASL at a Catholic high school for four years then I heard about the DCAB Communication
Access Specialist position. I applied, got the job, and worked for 13 years as the Communication Access Specialist then received a promotion as the Administrative Officer. Aloha! My name is Kristine Pagano and I work for the Disability and Communication Access Board (DCAB). DCAB is a state agency under
the Department of Health. Born and raised in Hawaii,
I’m a fifth generation Japanese. I went to mainstream school with no special education services, it was very tough. After I graduated from high school, I attended a community college for three years and received an Associate of Arts degree. I continued and went to University of Hawaii (UH). I received a Bachelor’s degree in Communicology and Master’s in Public Administration. DCAB has four units in our office: Facility Access, Program and Policy Development,
ADA Coordination, and Administrative Services. Administrative Services is the unit
where I work as the supervisor. I supervise one clerk and oversee her work. The two of us work on the office budget, accounts payable and receivable (i.e. invoices, expenditures) and coordinate office management. I do a lot of work on the computer and email correspondence. I work closely with the clerk. We communicate daily about invoices and bill payment. I also meet with my boss about
the budget and hiring staff. If we need to hire new staff,
I take care of the personnel paperwork. I also update position descriptions (PD). That’s basically what my workday looks like,
there’s no time off! I’m always busy. When you are looking for work, please try to apply for any job and don’t fixate on one specific job. Try to gain a variety of experiences
and take on new challenges even though that may not be the ideal
job for you right now. But go for it, because you
never know where that may lead to. You’ll gain new experiences and learn new skills that will help you in your future jobs. Have patience and perseverance. Stay in your job as long as you can, try a minimum of over a year because it looks good on your resume. Maybe you are lucky and find that one job that you stay for a very long time because you love it! Or maybe not, you try five different jobs and finally, you found the job that makes you very happy. We all only live once. The best part of life is
contributing back to your community. Look for a job or find what you really enjoy doing. If you enjoy sports, try asking a high school sports team if there is a job vacancy available for hire. If you enjoy cleaning houses, there are many cleaning companies who are looking for workers or as exterminators, if you enjoy doing that type of work. Or if you like working in an office,
keep looking for a job, don’t give up, and try your best because you only live once. When you start your job, you can teach
your co-workers sign language. Find one coworker to start with
or suggest to your supervisor or boss, that you teach ASL for 15 minutes every day. Then you’ve taught more people to communicate
using sign in your workplace.

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