Phase Three - Educational Workshop
What was the process?
Dr. Ken Beck and Ms. Patricia Hatt were approached and arrangements made to offer a workshop on "Literacy Preparation Project for Adults with Developmental Disabilities." This workshop provided practitioners with general information regarding literacy for adults with a developmental disability, strategies and resources to move adults through the "Early Literacy Stages", and outlined ways to identify and overcome barriers in an effort to access literacy programs. The workshop also gave practical instruction on utilizing learning outcomes and developing demonstrations for level one learners.
How was this evaluated?
When asked to rank the most important functions of the workshop, the participants were given a choice between education and professional development, networking and contact with others in the region, and dialogue between the literacy field and agencies. Participants ranked all three as being of equal importance. Both the actual questionnaire, as well as a summary of evaluation results, are included in Appendix C.
What was learned from this phase of the project?
The workshop provided the basis for a common understanding of literacy programs, the way that they operate, and the special challenges presented by people with developmental disabilities. It also provided opportunities to discuss ways that agencies could complement one another. There was discussion regarding how staff in support agencies could reinforce the work of the literacy program. Workshop leaders reviewed when it was appropriate for people to be referred to a literacy program and what support agencies can do to prepare an individual to participate in a literacy program. The need to work together in supporting the "whole person" was emphasized. The workshop combined with initial focus groups provided the groundwork needed to facilitate the final "Issue Clarification and Solutions" focus group.
Offering the workshop in partnership with the St. Clair Staff Training Advisory Committee was an excellent way to promote the concept of the two sectors working together. It lent credibility to the workshop and influenced the high rate of registration from agencies that support people in a multitude of ways.
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