Monday, 7 June 2010

Shane Malster

From Blog-Heads

Shane Malster: Chair and Sports Coordinator

Training Days Provided by SAP

SAP provides training to other organisations. We are used as a resource due to our specialised knowledge on handicapped and learning disability issues. We provide training to Norfolk County Council Cultural and Library Services as well as other voluntary organisations and statutory sectors. This is to help professionals on improving services they provide to people with learning disabilities. Improving services for people like us improves access to these services for all. It also means that services provide more value for money from the income they receive from public money.

We were hired for our most recent training event by Norfolk County Council Library and Cultural Services. This happened last Autumn 2009. The event was held at Gressinghall Open Air Museum. We provided four trainers, two with learning disabilities and two members of staff. The purpose of the day was to help the Library Service raise awareness amongst it’s managers and front-line staff on Disability Issues. More specifically, how to provide a more inclusive and accessible service for everyone in Norfolk.

The staff from Library Services came from all over Norfolk, many had interesting ideas and experiences on improving services in libraries in Norfolk. A Librarian from Yarmouth already provided a weekly group for people with disabilities. Many others had disabled users they were trying to help, but needed more help and direction on how to do this.

To start off the day we made presentations to discuss learning disability issues. In the morning we gave them exercises to evaluate how they support the public. They also brainstormed why they thinks it’s important to support inclusion. The trainees also contributed ideas on new and improved ways to include the public from all different sectors, not just the disabled.

The training events we provide are all day events and a lot of work gets done. This also helps the trainees to add to their Professional Development Records, as they earn a certificate at the end of these events. The feedback we get from these events are always positive and Council staff who are sent to these events always say it is worthwhile and insightful.

SAP has been providing training to other Sectors and Organisations for six years and it something that is always in demand.

Changes we have seen that have arisen from these events are:

·    Library staff are increasingly proactive and positive towards people with learning disabilities.
·    IT and computer availability and training is available at all libraries.
·    More large print books.
·    More audio books.
·    More explanation of how to find books and information inside libraries.

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