Copyright Statement of the training materialThis manual was developed within the framework of the ERASMUS+ project “ALL IN! Incredible Practitioners to empower adults with disABILITIES through Education, Employment&Social Entrepreneurship”.
The manual is open and available/free for all learners and any other interested stakeholders.
INTRODUCTION“ALL IN! Incredible Practitioners to empower adults with disABILITIES through Education, Employment&Social Entrepreneurship” is a transnational ERASMUS+ project leaded by the Federation for Accessibility of Romania (FAR) and implemented together with for institutions:
- National Confederation of Disabled People (NCDP) – Greece
- CENTRO SUPERIOR DE FORMACION EUROPA SUR – Cesur – Spain
- Association of Consultants and Experts in Social Economy (ACE-ES Romania) – Romania
- European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) – Belgium.
What is the objective of this manual? It is hoped that with this manual, entities offering employability services, as well as formal&non formal education institutions seeking to incorporate Soft Skills and Entrepreneurial Skills as TRANSVERSAL and TRANSFERABLE competencies into their programs for people with disabilities, will be able to integrate them into their training curriculum and adapt strategies to develop and evaluate them. They will also be able to recognize them and understand their importance for the success of the people with disabilities on labour market and different areas of their life.
Who is it for? This manual is mainly directed towards adult education practitioners (educators, trainers, mentors, vocational counselors, other experts) for supporting their learners (people with disabilities) to respond to the changing requirements of the labour market in term of Soft Skills and Entrepreneurial Skills.
How is the manual organized? The manual consists of 2 main Packs: - READY Pack 1 focused on Soft Skills – practical models&support tools for personal&professional development of adults with disabilities to be better prepared for jobs. - READY Pack 2 focused on Entrepreneurial Skills – practical models&support tools for stimulating entrepreneurial mindset&skills of adults with disabilities as ‖change makers‖.
PACK 1 contains 3 of the most important Soft Skills highly valued on job market: 1 Problem Solving 2 Positive Attitude 3 Teamwork.What are Soft Skills? There are several definitions of Soft Skills, but for this manual they are understood as the knowledge or understanding, attitudes, and abilities required to handle and contribute to the different areas of an individual's life: personal, social, and work. Acquiring these competencies will contribute to adults with disabilities employability and the impact that it has on their social inclusion, the possibility of them achieving personal development and improving their professional life. Soft skills are the personal attributes, personality traits, inherent social cues, and communication abilities needed for success on the job. Soft skills characterize how a person interacts in his or her relationships with others. Unlike hard skills that are learned, soft skills are similar to emotions or insights that allow people to ―read‖ others. These are much harder to learn, at least in a traditional training context. Many adults with disabilities lack important skills and qualities that they need to help them be successful at work and learning.
In this manual they are characterized as ―skills‖ in order to emphasize the fact that they can be learned/developed by suitable training efforts, and they can also be combined, towards the achievement of complex outcomes.
PACK 2 contains 3 of the most important Entrepreneurial Skills considered as ―enterprising‖ capacities and associated with entrepreneurial success: 1 Passion 2 Self Confidence 3 Open Mind skills that are important for self-employment creation, but also for responding to changing labour market demands and for encouraging disabled adults to find new ideas and ways of doing things as ‖change makers‖ in their communities or groups.
What are entrepreneurial skills? What constitutes entrepreneurship skills has been the subject of much discussion. Unlike other important economic skills, entrepreneurial skills are not related to a specific occupation, discipline or qualification. An entrepreneur can be defined the one who organizes, manages and assumes the need of a business enterprise. It can be defined as a person who have decided to take control of his/her future and becomes
self employed whether by creating his/her own unique business or working as a member of a team at a multi level vocation. He/she is a person who has possession of an enterprise or venture and assumes significant accountability for the inherent risks and the outcome.
Formal descriptions/definitions characterize entrepreneurial skills as ability to have self-belief, boldness, tenacity, passionate, empathy, readiness and open mind to take expert advice, desire for immediate result, visionary and ability to recognize opportunity.
Adult education practitioners find in PACK 1&PACK 2 resources, methods and tools to stimulate these abilities so important also for adults with disabilities helping them to turn Disability into Successful Actions in life&work.
Is there a need of inclusive training strategies? Successful adult education practitioners must recognize that disability is an aspect of diversity, and should be prepared to support learners from different backgrounds, cultures, and educational environments. Furthermore, they should understand that people with disabilities might learn in different ways.
- Get people with disabilities “doing” in addition to listening. Whether it is a group exercise, using a role play activity, or an individual paper and pencil exercise such as journaling or drawing, creating lessons that engage different learning styles and engage these adults in a variety of ways allows everyone to access&practice the skills.
- Repetition, repetition, repetition. It often takes repeated exposure to something before we remember it. Taking extra time to reinforce earlier topics in the context of the new ideas being discussed will help these adults retain the important lessons and skills needed to be successfully employed. A trainer can be creative in the ways he/she repeat concepts or emphasize a point: when the concept is considered again, offer it from a different point of view or when the concept/skill is demonstrated again, use a different exercise.
- Excitement is contagious. Demonstrating honesty, authenticity, and excitement for working with people with disabilities can often inspire the same qualities within the adults themselves as they engage with these skills. Trainer passion and energy are infectious. As an adult education practitioner, it is important that he/she find ways to maintain the passsion and excitement and recharge when necessary.
- Presume competence and instill confidence. Providing people with disabilities with confidence and an opportunity to succeed is one of the best gifts a trainer can give. Have high expectations for all and help them to realize their potential as trainer supports them to become independent decision-makers for their personal&professional future.
- Taking time to get to know the learners. Trainer shoul talk with all learners openly about strengths and weaknesses. Asking them to think about how they learn best and what they might need from training to facilitate their success. When a trainer prepare to use these lessons remember – one size does not fit all.
- Steping out of preferred method of teaching. To meet the people with disabilities‘needs, trainer should try to give up the personal comfort zone and use a variety of instructional approaches such as: discussions, PowerPoint presentations, inquiry-based instruction, hands-on experiments, project/problem-based learning, or computer-aided instruction. These Packs are designed to provide a variety of ways. Trainers are encouraged to adapt activities to meet the needs of each group.
- Providing accommodations. Whatever teaching or training strategies trainer put into place, there will be learners who will require accommodations. Making accommodations benefits not only the intended recipient but also other group participants. Any adjustments or adaptations should be targeted specifically to the area of difficulty or functional limitation the individual is experiencing.
12 Problem Solving
22 Positive Attitude
32 Team work
22 Self Confidence
32 Open Mind