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The Diversity Committee, Committee's work plan and accomplishments/NH Vocational Rehabilitation Diversity Plan Objectives and Activities FY 2008

Activity Person(s) Timeline Notes

Staff Diversity Education

Take advantage of training opportunities available

Newsletter - diversity minute

Request 1 hr diversity topic at "All staff"

Poll offices to see is any topics ROs would like to see addressed, e.g., trans gender, agism, etc.

Investigate Diversity Ethics module (RCEP)

Counselor training module on diversity

Diversity Committee members ongoing

Topic Area: Gay/Lesbian - workplace issues; SEA/Civil union - Barbara to check about possible presentation to committee

Lutheran Social Services - information on refugees coming into the area

Update populations list (last done in 2004) Diversity Committee members 10/07 By 10/07 Diversity committee members will have a conversation with their office about who is coming in; who is in the community who is not coming in, what languages, etc.
Develop protocol sheet for counselors for special factors to consider, e.g., legal ability to work in this country

Diversity committee members will read through the Web site to identify any questions or ideas on how to address this issue for counselors

Diversity Committee members 12/07 Currently working Linda stopped in at the Manchester office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services office. She cautioned that if customers are sent to let them know that the procedures there are very strict in terms of security (metal detectors, need to state specific purpose for being there). The office apparently does not handle individual calls - these are processed through the 1-800 number. For further information they referred to the site. This did not look like a possible resource for someone speaking to our group relative to work status and immigration issues. Linda shared the brochure from the USCIS office with the committee. Attorney John Wilson addressed the committee on 8/2/07 and provided additional info about immigration and legally working in the U.S.
Orientation sheet Ella 10/07 Ella to present to CO Workgroup in October. Translate to different languages (based on RO conversations on populations); consider update pictures
Resource list Diversity Committee members 2/08 Rose will check with Minority Health to see what they have for resources/resource list/link
Explore (paper) resource book in ROs Diversity Committee members 4/08  
Web site Diversity Committee members ongoing Info about diversity committee what has done/who we are/ info on diversity
Support diversity efforts in Hispanic language Diversity Committee members 2/07 PowerPoint

NH Vocational Rehabilitation Diversity Plan
Objectives and Activities for FY 2005-2007

Welcoming Environment and Equal Services For All

Activity Person(s) Notes
Staff Diversity Education Diversity Committee members

6/15/05 all staff training day completed successfully (handout1, handout2, powerpoint presentation PowerPoint)

Language Line training in Regional Offices

Reception Signs in different languages Diversity Committee members

Each office now has Interpreter Service Available sign in their reception areas to assist non-English speaking customers and individuals inquiring about services

Interpreter availability / identification of resources Diversity Committee members

Language interpretation/translation services are available through Language Line (interpretation services from English to over 100 languages), and through several agencies in communities, for example Language Bank (Lutheran Services), a list of translator/interpreters is available online - DOE directory of interpreters Acrobat Reader; and other contacts for cultural competency resources

D-Link training - referred to RCD coordinator for implementation - in process

Outreach to Under served Groups

Activity Person(s) Timeline Notes
Define the populations Diversity Committee members  

Done regionally

Top 10 languages spoken in state identified

Develop protocol sheet for counselors for special factors to consider, e.g., legal ability to work in this country Diversity Committee members   Currently working on this area
Primary forms translated to Spanish & disseminated to field Ella 6/05 Completed

NHVR Information in Spanish

For copy of forms please see your diversity committee member

VR Brochures in various languages Diversity Committee members   Currently working on

Other Committee Supported goals and activities

  • Find a method to disseminate information to Agency on a regular basis about diversity and diversity issues:
  • Diversity Minute included in Agency monthly newsletter
  • Explore assessment resources for culturally diverse populations
  • Creating a web link with the orientation information [that automatically transcribes into the native language] could be useful and
  • Effective for individuals that are e-connected. It could also be communicated to our community partners to assist in getting the
  • Word out to populations being served but not wired.
  • A link to: was added to our main page
  • Encourage the Agency to hire bi-lingual counselors
  • The Agency has hired a new Rehabilitation Counselor who is bi-lingual (Spanish)


  • Committee members attended the 3/8/05 One Community, A Diversity Conference
  • Committee members attended (and supported VR booth) at the Diversity Conference, Job Fair and Expo 9/19, 2006
  • Diversity Committee members serve as a resource to Regional office teams - Bring your diversity concerns / ideas to them to be brought to the committee
    • BRO - Doris Baillargeon
    • CRO- Barbara Bock
    • KRO - Michelle Lapointe
    • MRO - Linda Dunfey
    • NRO - Ricardo Amesquita
    • PRO - Susan Emery
    • SBVI - Steve Barbase, Rose Prescott

June 15, 2005 Diversity Training


  • Handout 1

Crossing Cultures in Rehabilitation
June, 2005
Presented by NH Minority Health Coalition
603) 627-7703

Cultural Competency Group
Extension 237

About the trainers

  • Lynn Clowes, MA is Director of the Cultural Competency Group at the NH Minority Health Coalition, an organization that has addressed local cultural competency needs since 1993. In this position, she conducts and facilitates cultural competency workshops and forums for health, mental health, and human service providers that serve culturally, ethnically, and linguistically diverse populations. Clowes speaks French, Spanish, Finnish, and English, has served as an interpreter in Central America Solidarity work, and draws on over ten years of experience in cultural exchange and international development to inform her work. Clowes worked as Director of Training at the Mississippi Consortium for International Development at Jackson State University, and received a BA in History from the University of Pennsylvania and a MA in International and Intercultural Management from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont . She is passionate about educating and learning about the issues of race, culture, and justice.
  • Nabil Migalli is a consultant and trainer for many agencies. He designs, manages, and implements staff development programs at Moore Center Services. He has developed a course on diversity at Moore Center Services and continues to present it. He has initiated programs such as the Independent Living Program and Adult Basic Education. Migalli presented a workshop on Ethical and Clinical Implications of Diversity at the annual conference of the American Association on Mental Retardation in Denver, CO . As an independent scholar, he has designed and frequently presented educational programs through NH Humanities Council. He has conducted workshops in NH and Washington, D.C. on issues related to ethnic diversity and building coalitions. He currently contracts with Minority Health Coalition, as a trainer. He is a Graduate of Cairo University, Cairo School of Social Work, National Institute for Social and Criminological Research and the Institute of National Planning ( Cairo ). He attended a graduate program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work. He has extensive knowledge of the local community, especially in the area of cultural diversity.

Clowes and Migalli can be contacted to do training for your agency by e-mailing to


  • 9 am start
  • Setting the Spirit
  • Culture and Cultural Competency
  • Activity: BARNGA
  • Discussion of challenges to staff of client diversification
  • Bias and Stereotypes
  • Lunch at 12:15
  • Cultural Panel
  • Multicultural Scenarios
  • Wrap Up and Evaluate
  • Close at 3:30

African Americans
Eastern Europeans
Native Americans
New Immigrants

  • Case 1: Noureen is a 40 year old woman from Southern Sudan. She lives in Manchester with her family. She does not drive. She used to work a night shift job at an industrial plant in Manchester. Her husband drove her to work and picked her up at the end of her shift. Noureen was laid off because the firm closed in order to access cheaper labor overseas. She has limited English. She has some cooking skills but no restaurant experience. She says she wants to learn to drive but misses each appointment to begin driver education. She would like to live somewhere accessible to public transportation. She prefers 2 nd shift with benefits. She has insomnia and suicidal tendencies.

Develop an individual employment plan to work with her. Address the cultural and personal strengths or challenges.

  • Case 2: Jean is a 22 year old man who completed Special Education in Claremont . He was diagnosed with autism as a child. After school he didn't stay long at any job. In one job he delivered mail to different offices but had conflicts with some people in those offices. In another job he worked in a restaurant doing food preparation but also had conflicts, this time with the kitchen and wait staff. His co-workers complain that he doesn't follow instructions well.

Jean comes from a family of 4 siblings, but is not in regular contact with any of them. He is the youngest and only one still living at home. His parents speak only French at home.

Develop an individualized employment plan for Jean. Address the cultural and personal strengths or challenges.

Reference The Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information Exchange, supported by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research in U.S. Department of Education, has published a series of user-friendly monographs containing specific information about the culture, values, and recommended ways for service providers to interact with persons from various countries ( China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Korea, El Salvador, India, Jamaica, Mexico & the Philippines ). The focus of these documents is generally on rehabilitation agencies, but there is also information related to how each of these cultures view persons with disabilities. See

Handout 2

Titled 'The Iceberg Conception of Culture' -shows a picture of an iceberg with only 10% of the berg showing above the waterline.  The caption is 'Just as nine-tenths of an iceberg is out of sight (below the waterline), so is nine tenths of culture is out of conscious awareness.  The out of awareness part of culture has been termed "deep culture"' Within the 10% above the water line are listed - fine arts, literature, drama, classical music, popular music, folk dancing, games, cooking and dress.  These are seen as primarily in awareness.  Below the waterline or primarily out of awareness are listed - notions of modesty, conception of beauty, ideas governing child raising, rules of inheritance, cosmology, relationship to animals, patterns of superior / subordinate relations, definition of sin, courtship practices, conception of justice, incentives to work, notions of leadership, tempo of work, patters of group decision making, conceptions of cleanness, attitudes toward the dependent, theory of disease, approaches to problem solving, conception of status mobility, eye contact norms, roles relation to status by age, sex, class, occupation, kinship, and so forth, conversational patterns in various social contexts, conceptions of past and future, definition of insanity, nature of friendship, ordering of time, conception of self, patterns of visual perception, preference for competition or cooperation, body language, social interaction rate, notions of adolescence, notions about logic and validity, patterns of handling emotions, facial expressions, arrangement of physical space, and much much more

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