ASSA and Handi-care Intl. are non-governmental organizations that focus on grass roots advocacy for persons with disabilities and on direct programs for rehabilitation, education, vocational training and livelihood promotion. Over the coming year, we will be working collaboratively to develop, implement and evaluate a train-the-trainer program that is tailored to the needs at ASSA. The project is funded by the Edith Strauss Rehabilitation Research Program.
One of the reasons we are excited about this project is that it builds on a growing collaboration between ASSA and SPOT. For the past six years, McGill occupational therapy and physiotherapy students have conducted clinical rotations at ASSA. In addition, SPOT students have recently undertaken two research projects at ASSA. SPOT faculty have also visited ASSA, and the ASSA team member who is co-project lead on the train-the-trainer grant, physiotherapist Ram Ponnusamy, will spend a month in Montreal this fall. In this sense, our newly launched project has a strong foundation. We’re hoping that it will continue to enrich these growing institutional ties. Listen to a podcast with occupational therapy students commenting on international fieldwork here.
So, what will we be doing? The end goal of the new project is to design and implement a train-the-trainer program for ASSA. We aim to support and expand skills, knowledge and capacities of staff members at ASSA who are involved in training as part of their professional activities. These roles include providing training to other rehabilitation providers at ASSA, as well as education that is done with families and clients such as teaching home exercise programs. In creating the train-the-trainer program, we will draw on what is currently known as the most effective approaches for this sort of training, as well as experiences developing train-the-trainer resources in other settings. The train-the-trainer program will be co-taught by ASSA, Handi-Care and SPOT team members with the goal of increasing the relevance and sustainability of the program. We don’t want this to be a one-off activity, but rather something that will be continued over the longer term. The project also has an evaluation component; We’ll be looking at different outcomes of the project, including participation, perceptions of participants, and their confidence as teachers/trainers.
Along the way, we plan to produce a series of blogs like this one to share what we’ve been learning and doing through this project. Watch this space for future entries, and feel welcome to reach out to us if you have any questions!