Staff for Deaf Plus Adult Community are carefully selected to meet the needs of the participants.  80% of staff are deaf and all others are good ASL users.   Interpreters are available  for trainings, visitors and anyone who needs assistance with communication.



Employee Selection
Standard qualifications for all DPAC positions include fingerprint clearance, health screening, and TB testing. Employees are expected to be knowledgeable about the issues facing individuals with developmental disabilities who are deaf and deaf-blind.  Employees must be aware, concerned, and compassionate regarding the challenges these consumers face, and committed to assisting Consumers in communication, community integration and maximizing their potential within a safe and supportive environment.


Staff Training/New Hire Orientation
New staff participate in 20 classroom hours of orientation within 2 weeks of hire. They participate in 8 hours of Crisis Prevention Intervention Training within 30 days of hire.  Staff must be certified in first aid/CPR within 30 days of hire and will not be one-on-one staff with participants until certified. In addition, each Instructor completes 30 hours of on the job training during the first 30 days of work.  New staff are paired with and shadow more experienced staff for on the job training.

In Service Training
DPAC’s staff development program is comprehensive, culturally relevant and coordinated.  The Lead Teachers in consultation with the Project Director coordinate the in-service training program. The program uses expert community resources whenever possible (e.g. Client’s Rights Advocate, Lighthouse for the Blind, Recreational Therapist, etc.).  Presenters are chosen based on consumer needs and staff feedback.  All staff complete a minimum of 12 hours of in service training per year.  

Staff Meetings
Staff meetings are held once a week for an hour and monthly for 3 hours. The Project Director or Lead Teachers facilitate these meetings. Policies and procedures are reviewed, staff discusses case presentations and risk management strategies. The meeting offers staff an opportunity to provide feedback on program delivery.


The DPAC environment requires a rich, flexible and diverse communication strategy. It is responsive to the receptive and expressive communication requirements of participants, instructors, consultants and the larger community. Communication is critical for DPAC participants, and their staff must be a good match for participant strengths and needs. Because staff and consultants embody mixed levels of hearing and deaf cultures, identity, communication, expertise, ASL/English Interpreters are utilized for staff meetings, trainings, and consultant/staff discussions; as well as for RCEB representatives, evaluators, parents or when participants and deaf staff need to fully participate with deaf or signing participants and staff.