Meet Jennifer Haaf, FTRI Program Manager. Jennifer has been with Easterseals over 12 years, overseeing all aspects of the Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc., or FTRI program, including Community Outreach, Equipment Distribution, training on specialized equipment, as well as all administrative work from audits, paperwork, new hires, inventory, etc.
Jennifer loves her role, and describes it as a "feel good job" saying "We provide a service through the FTRI program that benefits so many clients with hearing and speech disabilities. I am honored to be able to provide individuals with a much-needed resource. Knowing that a client's life was made just a little bit easier because of what we do makes it all worth it."
Her biggest joy is the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally over the last decade. She notes, "Easterseals has given me the ability to see life through the eyes of our clients which has taught me a great deal of understanding. My work, as well as the work of my teammates and co-workers, has taught me to change my way of thinking - to be more empathetic, rather than sympathetic. Understanding someone's needs is so much more fulfilling than feeling sorry for their needs. It gives me the ability to be that helping hand and provide them with what they need. "
One thing she would like to shout from the rooftops is the fact that the Florida Telecommunications Relay equipment is offered to qualified Florida residents at no charge. "They really are FREE!!! One of the biggest challenges is convincing people that this equipment really is FREE. "
The Easterseals FTRI program has grown leaps and bounds over the last 10 years. Currently we have experienced a setback due to the pandemic. Our biggest challenge right now is keeping community awareness of the FTRI program alive; making sure everyone knows we are still here, active, open and available. If we can continue to do that, we will continue to thrive and grow.
When people speak of or think of Easterseals, Jennifer hopes they think of us as a helping hand, a partner in their journey to achieve all they were meant to achieve. After all, Jennifer shares, "Life is full of challenges, some much greater than others. Asking for help is difficult for many, but it's important to realize help is available if you are willing to accept it, you just have to be willing."
To learn more about the FTRI program, visit https://www.ftri.org/daytona4 or email Jennifer Haaf at firstname.lastname@example.org.