TRAINING

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~ March 2002 ~
  • Review the Training Content with Objects
  • Why You Should Join AVA
  • Access to Training for the Disabled

Review the Training Content with Objects

Learning is aided for adults when there is a review at the end of a training session. A clever way to "imprint" the main content of the training is by connecting the main points to objects people encounter every day. Thus, the viewing of something as simple as a paper clip will remind learners of the training session and its content.

The "Object Review" works best with training sessions lasting from one to three hours. Depending on the size of the group, form teams of five to six, but no more than twelve. On the trainer table have common objects-measuring spoons, small dolls, empty aspirin bottle, comb, small balls, yo-yo, scissors, paper clips, or any other common item. You will need multiples of the items, depending on the size of the group.

Each person goes to the table, selects an object and makes a connection between the object and the main points of the training course content. They share their observations with members of their group. If the group is small enough each person can do this and share with the entire group.

This activity takes 10 to 15 minutes.


Why You Should Join AVA

The professional association for those who manage the work of volunteers is the Association for Volunteer Administration (AVA). AVA has a membership of over 2000, a set of ethics and standards, a certification process, an international annual conference, a journal of applied and practical research, and other benefits for members.

One of the benefits of membership is a special arrangement with Hallmark.com to offer recognition cards specifically for volunteers. The category is even titled "Volunteer Appreciation." For a limited time, there is a 10% discount on cards for AVA members through April 30, 2002. In addition, the cards can be ordered online. HOWEVER, you must be a member of AVA. This is just one of many reasons why you should belong to AVA. Check them out at their Web site - http://www.avaintl.org/.


Access to Training for the Disabled

In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) increased the opportunity for the disabled to access the workplace and public facilities. It did not, however, address access to cyberspace. That changed in June 2001 when all electronic and information technology products developed by or for the US government, its clients, or employees had to be accessible. Many state governments adopted the Federal action, as well.

The standards for accessibility were developed by the Electronic and Information Technology Access Advisory Board, 27 representatives from industry, disability organizations, and other groups. Here are the five main categories of compliance.

  1. keyboard equivalents for mouse functions
  2. text labels for interface elements such as buttons, checkboxes, menus, and scrollbars
  3. text names for bitmap images that indicate an action
  4. customization options for text size, color, and contrast
  5. no flashing or blinking elements with a frequency between 2 and 55Hz (blinking displays can cause seizures in some users)

Complete standards can be accessed at http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/guide.

If your organization is moving toward training for employees or volunteers on the computer, you would be wise to insure your compliance with these standards. A good place to start is with an online assessment tool (it is free.) Bobby, which can be accessed at the Center for Applied Special Technology at http://www.cast.org.


COLLEGE PROGRAMS ON NONPROFIT AND VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT

Close to 200 colleges and universities offer academic programs on nonprofit and volunteer sector management. They are usually master's degree programs, but not always. American Humanics sponsors undergraduate programs, as well. If you are looking to push out the professional development window, consider taking a course at one of these colleges. A full list resides at http://pirate.shu.edu/~mirabero. Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with this list.


Copyright 2002 by Nancy Macduff.