Strengthening the career potential of Deaf and Hard of Hearing youth

Work Experience Model (WEM)

Our work Experience Model (WEM) is an important component, which supports activities that strengthen the career potential of Deaf youth by offering hands-on experiences where they can develop work skills, and cultivate positive work habits and values necessary for successful careers.

Why KTQ Is The Perfect Place for the WEM Program:

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.

WEM Goals:

  • 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.

Since 2016

Be Warm Project

Be Warm Project consists of making blankets, hats and scarves for families experiencing homelessness. When Keepsake Theme Quilts trims a quilt, there is material that is leftover that we upcycle; and the students from the Work Experience Program are responsible for much of the construction of these items.

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Children Blankets
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Adult Blankets
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Tote bags

Keepsake Theme Quilts has combined the Work Experience Program with its Be Warm Project. KTQ’s Work Experience Program is designed to strengthen the career potential of Deaf and Hard of Hearing youth by offering hands on experiences in a working environment free from communication barriers. The students take on the role of Junior Production Assistants, where they have the opportunity to create a product from start to finish and learn about each step along the way. The students’ hard work and creativity helps Keepsake Theme Quilts to create its one-of-a-kind tote bags and items for its Be Warm Project.

Since 2010, the number of homeless families in Columbus increased 72% and many of the children arriving at local shelters with their families do not have the items to keep them warm and safe.

Work Experience Model (WEM) - T-Shirt Quilts
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