Posted by: MandyS | September 27, 2011

Activity 7.1 – disability awareness training

Both with the OU and as a lawyer, I have undertaken equality and disability training. However, I always think it is good to keep reminding yourself of what you should be doing, and in any event, different training may highlight different issues.

As I was behind, I initially skimmed the material; which was rather ironic as one of my fellow students commented that those undertaking the training in organisations are likely to ‘skim read just to get to the end and tick the box’. Never a truer word said…Fortunately, I didn’t just tick the box and thought I would return to this activity once I had got some a bit more up-to-date with the reading for this week.

Resource 1: Disability Awareness Guide:

I found this clearly written and easy to read. I particularly liked the figures at the beginning; I don’t know what it is about figures, but I always think it puts a subject into perspective as you can see clearly where the issues lie.

I think any training should be interactive in some way to enable you to think about what you are reading/learning and the activities were good for this. I also thought it was good to have the information about specific impairments, in particular the implications and stragegies; the opening paragraph describes the training as a facility to ‘dip in and out of’ and this section is useful if you come across an impairment you are not familiar with.

I haven’t read on but I will bookmark this training for future use.

Resource 2:  Disability Issues: self-paced training manual for staff at The University of Waikato:

This very much resembles the training I undertook at the CPS in that it is much more formal and provides for assessment and testing of your knowledge. It is clearly written with lots of activities. It contains some useful information but it does not really lend itself to being a resource you can use ad hoc.

Resource 3:  Do you have a disability – yes or no? Or is there a better way of asking ?

This was quite lengthy and, to be honest, I have not read it from start to finish. However, it is something I will use again as it focuses on the issue of disclosure.

Resource 4: WebAIM: Keeping Web Accessibility in Mind Video:

Of the resources so far this has definitely had the most impact; actually seeing the difficulties users with disabilities face using the internet made me realise that I take so much for granted in being able to use a computer. A definite must for anyone, who like me, has never thought about this as an issue before.

Resource 5:  SimDis: Simulations of disability:

This quite a good site to gain an understanding of the impact of particular impairments. I can see where Brew-Parrish is coming from but I rather think it depends on the purpose for which the simulation is used. In schools the likely repsonse from other children is pity or even mockery but I think for professionals concerned with issues of accessibility it provides an insight into exactly what the problems are so that the right adjustments can be made.

Resource 6:  DEMOS Module – Disability Awareness:

Again a very useful training site similar to Resource 2. Its layout suggests you are not having to read huge amounts (a must for busy practitioners) and it is interactive; I like the quiz at the end as this gives you some idea of the information you have (hopefully) retained.

Resource 4 has definitely had the most impact and I am so glad I came back to complete this activity now. Having already completed training two or three times now, I think I would find Resource 1 one the most useful to refer back to because of the section on specific impairments. If I get chance I will look at the other modules to see what’s in there.


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