Disability Awareness Training

An Effective Practice

This practice has been Archived and is no longer maintained.


Prior to the implementation of the Disabilities Awareness Training, program staff hired through the VOICE program were not required to have experience working with the disabled. Program staff gained their experience as they went along. In the interest of creating a better learning environment, the Bassett Adult School Assistant Principal, instructor and VOICE Program Director set up a program that would allow program staff to be compensated ½ hour every week for attending the training. The Adults with Disabilities Instructor is responsible for setting up the topics and presenting them to the program staff. Every Monday morning, before students arrive, all program staff (37 of them), and the Instructor discuss a topic for ½ hour. Such topics include:

- Team work
- What is autism, cerebral palsy, ADD/ADHD, Down's syndrome etc.
- How do the different disabilities affect learning?
- Are you sensitive to the needs of your student?
- CASAS testing and your student
- STRETCH What is it? How does it affect me?
- Assessment

Goal / Mission

The goal of this program was to teach staff the skills necessary to encourage an optimum learning environment for disabled students.

Results / Accomplishments

With the implementation of the Disabilities Awareness Training the program staff have been trained to work with a variety of disabilities and have developed the sensitivity to be effective. Quantitative data results indicated that the number of student injuries and absences declined significantly over the course of the project, as did the number of staff absences. The VOICE program no longer suffers from frequent staff turnover; instead the program is fully staffed and a waiting list is currently in place for both staff and students. Staff morale increased substantially as well. Other important outcomes of the project have included the development of a stronger relationship with Bassett Adult School and the VOICE program as well as with the facilities and Regional Center. A strong bond between students and staff is evident. This is a direct result of gaining the skills necessary to work with such a special population. The Instructor has seen students become more actively involved and interested in their activities as a result of such training, thereby fostering an optimum learning environment.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Matthew Smith or Ann Marie Esparza
5151 Murphy Canyon Rd, Suite 220
San Diego, CA 92123-4339
(858) 292-2900
Education / Vocational & Adult Education
Health / Disabilities
Bassett Adult School
San Diego, CA