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Training and Technical Assistance Projects

Training and Technical Assistance Projects

Our staff provides training, technical assistance, mentor/coaching, professional support, and individual consultations to community-based programs and school systems. Through these projects child care providers, teachers, support personnel, and parents are provided with the opportunity for training to promote the successful inclusion of children with disabilities in natural environments. These projects are designed to increase the ability of the participants and the programs they work for in providing high quality, inclusive educational services.



The training model typically used by the program involves a presenter or team of presenters that share ideas and expertise through various group-based activities. Formats used in training include large group presentations and discussions, workshops, seminars, colloquia, demonstrations, role-playing, simulations, and micro teaching. Generally, to be effective training includes an exploration of theory, demonstration or modeling of skills, simulates practice, feedback about performance and coaching in the workplace (Joyce and Showers, 1995).  


Technical Assistance can be defined as a process in which a person or small group has identified a specific need for information, direct instruction, modeling, or a combination of these, and seeks the support of an expert. Technical Assistance has also been described as “customized problem solving around a specific situation”. It is generally thought of as a response to a specific need or problem rather than a more global approach to program improvement.


Coaching involves a relationship with a highly skilled professional who works as a personal partner in a thought provoking and creative process that inspires maximization of personal and professional potential. Coaches listen, observe, and customize their approach to individual client needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client.


A mentor is an individual, usually older, always more experienced, who helps and guides individual’s development. Mentoring implies a one-on-one relationship that functions over time to facilitate the transfer of knowledge, skills, attitudes, beliefs and values between the mentor and mentee. (Zero to Three). 


For the participants in many of the projects we work on, the specific situation identified for problem solving to occur is around including children with disabilities in schools and community based programs, therefore technical assistance is provided to address this specific issue. However, it is also believed that skilled early childhood educators may begin working with teachers and community providers as mentors to guide their development and as that individual becomes more confident and skilled and able to participate in the problem solving process, the role of the mentor transitions into a coaching role. Therefore, individuals participating in the projects we on participate in training with support in the form of technical assistance and mentor/coaching to facilitate the transfer of knowledge gained from training into actual practice change.

School Systems provided with technical support services are generally provided with the following type of support

·         A Special Education Consultant, to assist the Special Education Director in the implementation of inclusion for children with disabilities in natural environments. Services provided include recommendations for restructuring the Special Education Program, training, and mentor/coaching as needed. Additionally, the consultant coordinates, trains, and supervises mentor/coaches working in the program.


·         Onsite technical assistant visits with a minimum of 2 hours per visit by a mentor/coach to assist teachers with including children with disabilities in their natural environment. Mentor Coaching may include any of the following:

                  ·         Classroom Observation

·         Review of Lesson Plans and Curriculum Planning

·         Feedback and Recommendations

·         Modeling and Demonstration

·         Training and Workshops for staff and parents

·         Facilitation of other Professional Development Activities (e.g. training extensions, video reviews, book study groups etc.)

·         Written recommendations will be made and shared with the teachers, administrators, and the Director of Special Education.


Our Training and Technical Assistance Projects are key to the our mission and vision of promoting  the rights and full inclusion of children with special needs and their families in our communities so that we may all live in a community where all children regardless of their different abilities are free to play and learn together.