Train

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Staff Development

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Our professional development courses present current best practice as identified by research—some of which the facilitator has conducted personally. Sessions include mini-lectures with real-life examples, handouts, opportunities for discussion, hands-on exercises and group activities. Length of sessions vary from 1 hour to 1 day, depending on the topics to be covered.

Our facilitator, in addition to having years of advanced education and research experience, is a seasoned adult educator. Each seminar is customized to fit your organization's needs. The facilitator takes the time to listen to what's important to you.

Trainer mentoring.

Below are descriptions of current offerings.

Course Development

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  • Do you need employee training that is centred on your organization's policies or best practices?
  • Is there a knowledge gap that your organization could fill, but nobody has the time to develop the right training?

We can provide solutions to these common problems. With over 30 years developing and delivering seminars, workshops and courses to adult learners, K. K. Biersdorff Consulting has the experience your organization needs. People learn through a combination of seeing, hearing and doing. The classroom-based and online courses we develop all make use of hands-on activities, discussions and presentations with hand-outs (or downloads) that enlighten. We work with your organization to make sure the training meets your needs.

In addition to professional development for employees and volunteers,we can develop a variety of learning experiences designed for special audiences, such as individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Trainer Mentoring

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Do you have skilled staff whose knowledge you'd like to share with others, but they lack experience as trainers or course developers? We can work with your staff to develop in-service training for them to deliver. We use a mentoring approach that provides the ultimate in workshop customization, while fostering presentation proficiency in skilled practitioners with little or no teaching experience. This is an ideal approach for organizations who see the need for a course to be offered repeatedly and find the cost of purchasing specialized external training prohibitive. Trainer mentoring fosters development of staff skills using primarily internal resources with K. K. Biersdorff Consulting "kickstarting" the process.

We will help your skilled professionals structure what they know into effective mini-lectures with hands-on activities that engage their audience and illustrate the points to be made. We can provide added topic-related information and helpful hints on public speaking, as needed. We can co-facilitate the workshop until your staff are comfortable, and help them fine-tune the training based on session evaluations.

Organizational Practices

  • Setting Goals & Objectives for Organizations & Staff
  • Policies & Procedures that Work
  • Project Planning
  • Building Inclusive Teams
  • Ethical Decision-Making

Goal setting and evaluation can be time-consuming and stressful. This workshop reviews the difference between goals and objectives and how to develop objectives that are specific and measurable. Participants will learn strategies to avoid common pitfalls when setting goals and objectives as an organization and as individual staff. Full-day workshops include material on building strategies and tactics to ensure that objectives are met on time.

Time = ½ - 1 day

Every organization or business needs guidelines that help employees know what is expected of them. Effective policies give guidance and save supervisors and managers from spending their days as "enforcers" of the rules. Participants will learn what should and should not be included in a policy, when written procedures are needed, and how to write them using "playscript."

Time = ½ day

This workshop in easy-to-understand language teaches participants how to go from identifying a topic through planning the steps and resources you will need and preparing a grant proposal. Participants will even learn the basics of data analysis and project evaluation. A set of plain language handouts from this workshop are available free on this web site.

Time = 1 day

How do you make the most of diversity within a team, committee or board? Using exercises and techniques from a variety of systems, participants will explore their own strengths and tendencies and those of team members in order to improve work relationships and performance. Additional strategies can be discussed that support people with developmental and other disabilities to become full, active participants on teams, committees and boards. A shorter version of this workshop was developed as a presentation for librarians who want to make their library more inclusive.

Time = ½ - 1 day

In ethical decision-making, we proactively determine what is moral in our relationships with others. This workshop presents an ethical decision-making process which can be used in conjunction with any ethics code. Using the code of ethics adopted by Alberta Association of Rehabilitation Centre member organizations or your own organization's code, we will follow the ethical decision-making process to resolve realistic dilemmas from rehabilitation practice. Participants may bring examples of ethical dilemmas they face.

Time = ½ day

Public Relations Writing

  • Writing for Your Readers
  • Marketing & Informational Brochures
  • Newsletters & Annual Reports
  • News Releases & PSAs
  • Managing Social Media

This workshop teaches the key points of writing for a variety of internal and external audiences. These points will be illustrated using examples of communications that succeed or fail in meeting the reader's needs and wants. Hands-on exercises give participants experience with tools used by public relations professionals to get their point across. Sessions for self-advocates will focus on creating event notices. This basic workshop can be combined with one or more of the sessions on specific public relation tools to suit the needs of your group.

Time = 1½ - 2 hours

May be combined with Marketing & Informational Brochures, Newsletters & Annual Reports and News Releases & PSAs or with Managing Social Media to form a full day workshop.

Groups and organizations use brochures and pamphlets to tell the world about what they do, events that they are hosting, and information they have to share. This workshop describes how marketing brochures differ from informational brochures and the critical components that need to be included. Participants will learn about some different layouts and their pros and cons.

Time = 1 - 1½ hours

May be combined with Writing for Your Readers to form a half day workshop.

Newsletters and annual reports tell the world (or a specific part of it) what is happening in your organization. Participants will learn the essentials of writing feature and news articles. Examples of different styles and layouts of newsletters and non-corporate annual reports will be shared.

Time = 1 - 1½ hours

May be combined with Writing for Your Readers to form a half day workshop.

News releases and public service announcements tell the media about happenings that your organization thinks are news worthy. This workshop introduces participants to the standard formats used to convey your message, as well as when to use them.

Time = 1 - 1½ hours

May be combined with Writing for Your Readers to form a half day workshop.

Social media can help your organization meet many of its goals more effectively and efficiently...if done correctly. This workshop looks at some best and worst practices in organizational uses of collaboration tools, blogs, Twitter, You Tube, Facebook Pages and other social networking tools, and how your organization can make the most of social media.

Time = ½ - 1 day

Disability Services Topics

  • Facilitating Client Choice
  • Managing Risks Associated with Client Choice
  • Supporting Clients With High Pain Tolerance

This workshop explores some common issues faced by service providers in assisting individuals with developmental disabilities with varying levels of experience to make informed and responsible decisions. These issues include recognition of preferences, opportunities for choice, decision-making avoidance/passivity, risky choices, values conflicts, and group decisions. Segments on qualities of good facilitators and the DOs and DON'Ts of facilitation can be included. Small group exercises give participants an opportunity to explore their beliefs and practise new skills.

Time = ½ day

May be combined with Managing Risks Associated with Client Choice to form a full day workshop.

This workshop explores ways to support client choices while recognizing staff's responsibilities as helping professionals. Group exercises give participants the chance to practise strategies used to analyze risks and benefits associated with client choices. Participants will learn how to make choices involving risk safer and how to develop a "Plan B" with clients that reflects clients' values and preferences.

Time = ½ day

May be combined with Facilitating Client Choice to form a full day workshop.

Individuals with a high pain tolerance may fail to recognize and report injuries. Some may put themselves at risk of injury because they don't recognize its impact on them. Participants will learn more about patterns of high pain tolerance, environmental adaptations and supports which may help some clients ensure their own safety.

Time = ½ day