Strengths and experiences – building a team of workshop trainers thumbnail

April 5th, 2018

Strengths and experiences – building a team of workshop trainers

With any team, it is always important to have people with complementary strengths, experiences and qualifications.

Building a team of workshop trainers is no exception.

In October of 2016, we interviewed and hired Tristan for a workshop that needed to be redeveloped and carried out. When we asked Tristan where he found the posting and what drew him to the role, he said, after many years of looking at job postings and finding nothing, it was incredible to see something that says ‘I choose you’.

He went on to explain that the job description was the first he’d seen that was looking for a person who has a disability and that didn’t seem like a pity job. Tristan believes that he acts as a bridge for people who come to learn because he can relate personally to the information he teaches.

Recently someone asked the question, “isn’t it tokenistic to hire a person with a disability to be a trainer?” The underlying question: are we hiring this person to make ourselves feel good about being inclusive?

The answer is no – hiring someone with a disability to be a trainer at EAFWR is not tokenistic. If you come across a job posting for EAFWR trainers, you will read: lived experienced with a disability is an asset. Why? Because in a team of trainers who are teaching about inclusion, providing quality support, or abuse prevention and awareness, it is critical to hear the voice of someone who knows from experience. It is not tokenistic because without this perspective and lived experience, the learning is simply not as meaningful. It is not tokenistic because this person is not hired to fill a position, this person is hired to build it from the ground up. Effective disability training cannot exist without the contributions of a person who has a disability.

Lived experience with a disability is an asset. It’s also empowering.

 


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Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region is continually looking at how we do our work, and how we can make it better. Whether it’s through infrastructure upgrades, better training and development, or other ventures, our values and quality of service are at the heart of everything we do.