Home New mexico tax ‘Dog Days With A Purpose’… Canine Crew students gain valuable experience training service dogs

‘Dog Days With A Purpose’… Canine Crew students gain valuable experience training service dogs

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Northern New Mexico Students disabled of New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Pre-Employment Transition Services and On-the-Job Training Program were members of the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (RMYC) Canine Team this summer. Courtesy/NMDVR

NMDVR News:

TAOS – Ten youths with disabilities from northern New Mexico were members of the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (RMYC) “dog crew” this summer.

For six weeks, participants trained assistance dogs in Taos and worked at Assistance Dogs of the West headquarters in Santa Fe. health and supervision of dog playgroups. They also recorded the weight of more than 20 dogs involved and kept their enclosures clean.

As these students were part of the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (NMDVR) Pre-Employment Transition Services and In-Service Training program, they also spent time practicing job skills such as punctuality, teamwork, communication and self-defense, while learning more about their options for continuing education and employment. Each participant completed a career interest survey, created or updated their resumes, and earned their CPR certification over the summer.

Six students attend the New Mexico School for the Deaf (NMSD). Four others are from the Taos region.

“This program provides instant motivation and engagement for students and involves many of the foundational skills necessary for a successful transition (to life after school): perseverance, frustration tolerance, problem solving, goal splitting important in smaller steps, clear communication, patience,” says Denise Dumesnil, Canine Leadership Crew, RMYC of New Mexico. “Working with dogs naturally provides the opportunity to learn and practice these skills, with immediate feedback. of the dog – who is non-judgmental and for many students is easier to connect than his peers.”

Dumesnil adds that being part of the canine crew is real work, so students had to complete an application and all the necessary paperwork that comes with employment, such as tax forms and direct deposit authorizations. They were paid for their work.

The participants were between 15 and 28 years old. 28-year-old Marco Kiesling from Taos has been offered to continue in a part-time position with Assistance Dogs of the West. Another enrolled at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. The others are going back to high school this fall.

Dumesnil notes that in addition to their other challenges, the Canine Crew had to overcome the language barrier: those at Taos do not know American Sign Language, and most NMSD students had not previously worked in a predominantly auditory environment. “They were a fantastic team and I’m so proud of how they connected,” she said.

NMDVR contracts with RMYC to provide pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities in northern New Mexico. To participate in this or any NMDVR program, New Mexico residents with disabilities (of any age) must visit dvr.state.nm.us and make an appointment at one of the agency’s points of sale two dozen offices.

Northern New Mexico student scene during the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps’ (RMYC) ‘Canine Crew’ this summer. Courtesy/NMDVR

Northern New Mexico student scene during the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps’ (RMYC) ‘Canine Crew’ this summer. Courtesy/NMDVR

About NMDVR:

The New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (NMDVR) assists eligible persons with documented disabilities to find suitable employment. To do this, NMDVR partners with companies and agencies looking for opportunities to enhance and diversify their workforce. Vocational rehabilitation is a voluntary program that supports people who want to work. With a long history of success and a proven methodology for making the best adjustments, NMDVR is committed to helping participants thrive in their communities.