It is good to follow the Listen Include Respect guidelines for meetings when you are planning a training.
There are some extra things to think about when planning a training.
Plan who will attend.
Inclusive training where people with and without intellectual disabilities learn together should ALWAYS be the aim.
However, people with intellectual disabilities told us that in some situations separate training events can work better.
A separate training group can mean there is more time and space for people with intellectual disabilities to speak honestly without fear of being excluded.
If the training is about a topic that the participants need to have certain background knowledge about, a separate training might also be helpful. People with intellectual disabilities who have not had access to inclusive education might need a separate pre-training or meeting to help bridge the gap.
The best way to know if a separate meeting is needed is to include people with intellectual disabilities in planning.
All communicate about the training should be clear, short, and accessible.
Pay for costs such as connection costs (data) for online training or transport for in-person training.
These are potential barriers to participating for people with intellectual disabilities. Covering these costs means people can be included.
Make sure people understand the background of the training.
Pre-meetings, webinars or short videos can help to explain the topic of the training, why it is important, and how people can use what they learned after the training.
Create the training invitation.
Make sure it includes:
time and date
the goal of the training
what people will learn
accessible background information
venue and transport information
what costs will be paid for
meeting link and password if the meeting is online
The invitation should be in plain language!
Involve support people.
Check if the people with intellectual disabilities need a support person. People should always get to choose their own support person.
Support people should receive all the same information that the participant does. If there is a cost for the training, supporters should not have to pay anything.
Make sure your training presentations are engaging and easy to understand.
Good training has fewer slides and content to learn and more time for activities and discussions.
Some things to remember when planning your training are:
Case studies or stories can help make the topic more understandable and relatable.
Activities and table discussions can help people to stay interested and learn in different ways.
Make sure the activities are fun and simple. Activities involving stories, art or role-plays can be helpful.
Small group work can help people feel more comfortable and confident.
Slides should be in accessible language, with large font and line breaks, and should not have too much information on each slide. Using bullets are helpful - no big block paragraphs!
Send an agenda and training information at least two weeks before the meeting so people can prepare.
For example, the training PowerPoint slides and any discussion questions should be sent in advance.
Make sure the agenda includes:
enough time for discussions and activities
small group work and activities to give people space to ask questions and share their ideas in different ways.
time to speak with other participants
a clear explanation of each section of the meeting
a list of the discussion questions that participants will be asked in each section
Make sure your trainer has experience of supporting people with intellectual disabilities.
A good trainer will:
understand that some people may not be used to speaking up
be interesting and engaging
good at communicating in an accessible way (using easy language)
help people feel comfortable and confident
make sure everyone has an opportunity to share their ideas
keep an eye on the room to make sure there are no barriers to participation
be good at summing up ideas at the end of each section
be ale to change questions or activities quickly if they are difficult to understand or not working well
If possible, include a trainer with an intellectual disability.
This makes sure the meeting is inclusive and expert-led.
This may also help participants with intellectual disabilities feel comfortable.
It also helps make sure that the contributions of people with intellectual disabilities are being valued by everyone in the room.
Set the tone by making it clear that everyone taking part will be respected and listened to.
Be friendly and welcoming.
Time for an icebreaker at the start of a training can help make sure everyone is comfortable and will set the mood for the training.
Ground rules set together by everyone in the meeting can help make sure everyone understands how to respect one another.
Encourage all participation. Hearing from other people in a meeting may help nervous people to feel more comfortable with sharing their ideas.
At the end of your training make sure there is a way to give feedback.
For example through an accessible feedback survey or a feedback session.
The Listen Include Respect guidelines are still being completed - stay tuned for illustrations which will be added shortly to help explain these guidelines!