Jobs for Progress of the Texas Gulf Coast
There is a continued need for the development of training programs and resources to assist Texans with developmental disabilities (DD) and their families learn leadership and advocacy skills. To do this, leadership development and advocacy skills training programs must exist in many different areas around the state. Because it is unlikely that any one organization can provide enough funding to meet the demand, it is imperative that organizations that offer this kind of training work with others. This type of collaboration can help to increase the number of identified leadership development and advocacy training programs that can provide culturally appropriate training for individuals with DD.
Add a train-the-trainer approach to SER’s current leadership and advocacy skills program. This approach will provide additional workshops and online training videos, as well as other materials. Recruit participants from minority communities to participate in four one-week training sessions based on fundamental topics related to self-advocacy and topics of local interest.
SER trained 327 program participants and steadily increased staffing to include 30 volunteers, 13 consultants and a Local Initiatives Support Corporation AmeriCorps trainee to meet the training and service need of clients. With the increased staffing, SER was able to ramp up not only training but also key related services such as recruiting and advertising. SER also improved its training facilities. During the grant, training activities shifted from outside facilities to SER’s in-house facility.
In addition to the core Basic Advocacy Training, SER successfully referred clients to other SER programs such as their Business Etiquette Training, which teaches job searching and networking skills, and the Coaching to Care program (sponsored by the Department of Labor). SER developed a customized Navigation Referral Form to help the participants of these programs find needed supports and services within SER and other agencies.
- 327 program participants (206 self-advocates, 53 families and 68 providers) were trained
- SER staffing increased, including 30 volunteers, 13 consultants and a LISC AmeriCorps trainee
- In-house training facilities were enhanced
- The number of partner agencies to deliver services to program participants steadily increased