The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) Web-based mentoring program is for people with hearing loss. It is designed to help individuals acquire those skills in managing their hearing loss in everyday life, which will help them to achieve optimal well being, personal fulfilment and productivity.
The objectives of the Online Mentoring Program include:
1) For the person with hearing loss seeking mentoring (the mentee)
- Facilitate peer support
- Promote self-help and education for coping with the effects of the loss of hearing ability
- Enable the person with hearing loss to gain leadership and communication skills
2) For the mentor:
- Provide an opportunity to volunteer and contribute in a rewarding way.
Conversations between mentor and mentee are conducted on line via Chat rooms which are 1-1 only, and not open to others. However, note that, for reasons of quality assurance, there will be random spot checks on chat room sites, but only by a designated volunteer supervisor.
- Although mentoring has many definitions, the most popular view of mentoring is a relationship between a less experienced individual, called a mentee or protégé, and a more experienced individual known as a mentor.
- Mentoring, which typically occurs at a time of transition, involves the sharing and transferring of knowledge and experience which motivates the mentored person to take action.
- Mentoring often has a career development focus and may be a long-term relationship.
- However, mentors may also be peers who assist less experienced persons in their community or organization on a short-term basis.
- In this program, the mentoring consists of an online relationship between a mentor and mentee, both of whom are hard of hearing (have a hearing loss).
- The focus of the program will depend on the needs of the mentee, but will involve providing support to the mentee in managing his/her hearing loss in everyday life.
The mentoring process provides assurance to mentees that they are not alone in dealing with daily challenges. Connecting with a peer who has “been there” offers insights and encouragement for those with similar problems who are seeking help. Mentees gain new wisdom, while mentors get the satisfaction that comes from a sense of giving back.
Mentoring is a powerful personal development and empowerment tool that can significantly impact society by contributing to the positive mental health and well-being of both mentors and mentees.
Mentors provide an ongoing relationship for support, guidance, and encouragement. Mentors offer a safe, nonjudgmental environment where issues are discussed, and goal-setting is encouraged.
What a Mentor Is
The mentor is someone who:
- Listens carefully to the mentee’s issues and provides unbiased support.
- Encourages the mentee and helps the mentee celebrate success.
- Helps the mentee solve his/her problems by sharing personal/professional experiences.
- Introduces new resources to help the mentee extend his/her network.
- Provides the mentee with an outside perspective on personal/professional issues.
What a Mentor is Not:
- The mentor is not someone who:
- Advises on specific actions or behavioural changes in the mentee’s daily life.
- Acts as a social worker or psychologist for the mentee.
- Functions as an advocate for the mentee’s personal or work-related grievances