A second round of information gathering that brought the participants from both service sectors together proved to be more fruitful. The purpose of this second informational exchange was to clarify the issues previously identified and to promote dialogue between the two groups by having them develop some workable solutions together. Unfortunately, the group was not able to fully explore all issues and possible solutions in the time allotted. Thus, the concept of the "Next Steps" paper was developed to provide follow-up and to suggest possible additional solutions. The "Next Steps" paper is contained in Part Three of this report.
While the focus groups provided valuable information, and did promote dialogue, hindsight suggests that greater participation may have been achieved if participants had not had to travel. Holding focus groups in each county might also have encouraged more dialogue locally. In addition, given the time limitations of the participants involved, it might also have been a better strategy had the groups been brought together at the beginning of the project rather than at the end.
"To promote positive partnerships between the developmental services field and the literacy field."
The promotion of partnerships was an ongoing consideration if the project was to carry on under its own momentum. Many informal connections were made both during the focus groups and the training session. Other more formal connections, such as the one made with the faculty of the Developmental Services Worker (DSW) program at the college level, occurred later.
The workshop and training session that occurred during this project did help to foster communication by bringing the two service sectors together. As suggested previously, most of these relationships were informal. In order to establish more permanent ongoing relationships, it is recommended that interested groups review the literature. The factors that contribute to success are specifically outlined in the 1998 Ontario Ministry document entitled, "Best Practices for Adults with Developmental Disabilities", as well as the1995 document entitled "Speaking of Equality: Making Literacy Programs Accessible to People with an Intellectual Disability" published by the Roeher Institute.
The overall impact of the sessions held was difficult to quantify, however most participants expressed an interest in future regional workshops, training, and more opportunities for networking and ongoing dialogue.
Some examples of partnerships that have been initiated and are continuing to develop include the following:
|Previous Page||Contents||Next Page|