Ongoing training is important in any workplace. As the responsibilities, duties, and tasks of people grow and change, they too must learn and grow. Workplace learning takes place informally as well as formally, and it is important to maximize those opportunities. It is increasingly important to understand how employees regulate their learning in the workplace (Bateman & Barry, 2012; Lord et al., 2010; Sitzmann & Ely, 2011). Effective workplace training provides opportunities for personal growth and meets employee’s learning needs. There is a strong positive relationship between job training satisfaction and overall job satisfaction (Hatcher, 1999; Lowry et al., 2002; Traut et al., 2000; Schmidt, 2007). Thus, it is essential to become familiar with the needs and priorities of all stakeholders before planning trainings. Training efforts should also ensure ongoing, relevant, and meaningful professional development.
This Toolkit calls for organizations to be intentional in creating inclusive spaces for trainings that focus on healthy conversation and discourse. Specifically, it calls for a move beyond being passive recipients of training to taking action. Experiential learning, empowerment, leadership, and topics related to diversity and culture should be infused throughout trainings.
Provide continuing education credits for webinars, conference sessions, and other training opportunities as appropriate.
Participate in communities of practice and other forums where organizations come together to share experiences implementing initiatives related to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence.
Require that every proposal for every conference presentation address diversity, inclusion, and/or cultural and linguistic competence. Include a specific section in the proposal for this, and also include in scoring criteria.
Incorporate a track in every annual conference that provides an opportunity for network members to share their successes in changing infrastructure to increase diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence.
Foster an environment that supports full participation in ongoing training. Be strategic when scheduling and limit conflicting meetings or assignments.
Reach out to interpreter service companies to request training as well as interpretation. If they also provide trainings, utilizing their training expertise may help strengthen relationships.
Address behavior, attitudes, power and privilege in cross-cultural trainings. Trainings must move beyond understanding the cultural differences, beyond awareness, and challenge deep-rooted beliefs of traditional society. Assess what skills are needed to better work across cultures and integrate training into the work environment. Provide opportunities for practice. Engage people from different backgrounds and initiate discussions that allow individuals to voice what they are learning and what they are struggling with. Co-teach/facilitate with people from under-represented backgrounds.
Infuse cultural topics in training for faculty and staff across all disciplines.
Identify and disseminate webinars hosted by other organizations that align with AUCD’s diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence efforts.
Train UCEDD/LEND staff, faculty, and trainees to serve as cultural brokers in the context of disability as understood by the UCEDD/LEND.
Offer the UCEDD Leadership Institute in varying regions to allow for accessibility and participation from network members.
Partner with and reimburse experts to provide training on diversity, inclusion, cultural and linguistic competence, and resiliencies and disparities. The experts may be people within a particular community who know its strengths and resiliencies.
Identify leadership development and continuing education opportunities that cultivate skills in diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence.
Model an organizational structure that values different perspectives and participation by all regardless of cultural identity.
Create opportunities or forums for sharing of best practices, details of other work around diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence, how to use core funds to sustain a diverse Center/Program, and barriers to achieving diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence.
Engage diverse groups to serve as the experts. Support participants or recipients of services to take on a more active role in designing trainings, services, and materials.
Share organizational mission and values related to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence with all invited presenters for trainings, meetings and conferences. Request they share their mission and values as well and engage in discussion on how these missions and values will be upheld in the session.
Create system for offering Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Credits for webinars, conference workshops, and other appropriate training opportunities. This will enhance value for participants.
Provide scholarships that support travel of underrepresented staff from network Centers/Programs to participate in the AUCD conference. Encourage leadership from network Centers/Programs to support underrepresented staff to attend the AUCD conference.
Offer a series of webinars for network members that support diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence initiatives and are responsive to the varying stages in their journey. Offer webinars and workshops done in partnership with other organizations.