The President

My name is Cassandra Oakes. I feel there is a missing link in helping people like me who are deaf-blind. I, myself, have gone to a few services that have not provided me much helpful information. Some of my long-time deaf friends felt 'lousy' and 'neglected' by lack of communication skills with staffs. I always felt encouragement was neccasary to make them feel unique and acceptable. My mission is to encourage the deaf-blind and deaf to accept their disability with an 'I Can' attitude. I want to help show people how to help themselves by not giving up even when life seems unfair. I strongly believe that when you find your passion in life and keep working on it; it is a lifetime of joy!  It is my joy to share with others like me, my life's experiences and outlook on life. I am deaf-blind and the founder of the ‘S.H.E.P.’

Sight-Hearing Encouragement Program.
I was born deaf and became blind in my late thirties.  I worked at the Post Office in Omaha, Nebraska for almost 15 years.  I am now a retired postal worker due to blindness.  I attended VRS in Nebraska for training in cooking, traveling (with a cane), mobility, Braille, and woodshop.  I moved to Oklahoma and found myself needing more help reading Braille.  I contacted the Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VRS) here in Oklahoma City for help in getting a better pair of eyeglasses and a stronger magnifier. 
The VRS evaluated me and determined that I needed to go to Helen Keller’s National Center for more training. This way, life would be easier and I could be more independent.  I have learned so much and really enjoyed the training in ‘Communication’ (Braille 1 and 2), ‘Independent Living’, ‘Tech’ (Computer/Braille), ‘Art’, and other fun classes.  I was able to help others and it became my passion to teach the deaf-blind that they can achieve in life if they try. S.H.E.P. will be a great opportunity to teach the deaf-blind and deaf to achieve their 'best' in both the silent and hearing world. I look forward to this great opportunity to reach out to the deaf-blind and deaf toward a independent and rewarding life.

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