I work in windows and many different linux flavors. Not an expert but I can usually get stuff to work.
In any OS I would start with an open access point.
Then I would be sure that the hardware is configured.
In this case System> KinfoCenter. OR System>Network.
I am using KDE desktop by the way.
Regardless once you have made sure that the OS can see the hardwar then you start working it. I like the GUI applets so in my case I set it up with nm-applet 0.7.0, which is the Gnome Ap for networks.
Get it from the add/remove software tool.
I also installed some hotplug apps and a few other things that looked good under a wifi search in the add/remove software tool.
Then I just had to make sure to press the software keys so that my wireless hardware would start at boot up on my laptop.
Sorry I can't be more specific here but wifi can still be a pain in any Linux OS. Had problems in Ubuntu too. Easiest OS to get wifi running for me was Xandros.
Oh yeah, right before the wifi card started working I was getting ready to order a couple of other mini pci cards too!