ASK offers different kinds of family to family support because different families have different needs. One type of support we offer is mentor support. There are four different types of mentoring available through ASK. Each type shares valuable life experience, knowledge, emotional support, and understanding that comes from facing similar situations to the ones you are going through.
All of ASKs mentors are trained to provide support in an unbiased and supportive manner. All of our mentor matches are coordinated through an ASK staff person to be sure they are well matched to your situation and that your needs are met. Many mentors in one life area are also someone receiving mentor support in another life area.
Mentors can work in person, by phone or through a virtual meeting. If needed, they can be sure an interpreter is present. Most mentors meet with a family match at least twice. Some meet more often than that. Once you and your mentor connect, you might find that a friendship develops and connections to more family networks happen. At that point, ASK will step out of the role of formally monitoring the mentorship – and we hope that happens often!
The different types of mentors are listed below and outlined in ASK's Mentor Flyer (coming soon). New mentors are trained at least twice per year. Check the Events page for those trainings. If you are interested in being a matched with a mentor, contact us by phone or use the online Contact Request form. Mentoring is a FREE service!
- Parent Mentors are trained, volunteer, family members of a child like yours who are further along in the journey than you are. All of our mentors can meet you in your home, on the phone or by video conference. If needed, they can schedule an interpreter to join them. A Parent Mentor will contact you two times, or more if you want, to answer questions, share stories, and provide emotional support.
- Deaf Role Models are trained, volunteer, deaf or hard of hearing adults who can offer you a vision for your child’s future. Deaf Role Models will contact you two times to share their stories with you and answer questions about deaf and hard of hearing culture. They can also provide unbiased guidance and ideas about communication choices. They can work with you in your home, on the phone or virtually.
- Deaf Mentors have all of the same skills as Deaf Role Models, and have taken further training. Deaf Mentors can meet with you in your home or virtually, but in-home is best. They will contact you six times to provide the same service as a Deaf Role Model plus offer some basic sessions on American Sign Language (ASL) and additional unbiased communication choice information.
- Connect with a Resource Partner who can give you clear and specific answers directly from the professional world. Resource Partners are professionals like educators, school administrators and providers who have a great deal of experience serving the deaf and hard of hearing community. They can be matched with a family to answer a very specific set of questions and usually meet once with a family by phone or virtual meeting.
Want to become a mentor? We can stipend your miles to work with other families in person! When you are ready, sign up for a FREE mentor training and give back to others what has been given to you. Mentor training happens at least twice a year. You can register on our Events tab.