Assertiveness Training - A Five Week Course for Self Advocates A structured training course for adults with learning disabilities, written by adults with learning disabilities
The following extract comes from the authors’ introduction to the pack: This book is about helping people with learning disabilities learn how to be more ‘assertive’, or how to speak up for themselves. This book is a guide. It shows people how to lead a group through a 5-week course on Assertiveness Training. This training pack gives the people who are leading the group ideas about what to do each week. It also has handout pages for everyone in the group to take home. It has fun exercises to help people try to speak up for themselves and be more assertive. You should use this guide in any way that works well for your group. Use what you like and change what you don’t like.
Preparing for the course, what will be needed, what to do, leading the group. Week 1 Meeting each other, rules of the course, learning what it means to be Passive/Aggressive/Assertive
Week 2 Reviewing progress, communication and body language
Week 3 Why is it difficult to be assertive? Expressing feelings assertively
Week 4 Talking assertively, assertive body language
Week 5 Using assertiveness, review, certification materials and instructions for a five-week training course
This training pack is intended for adults with learning disabilities, support staff and trainers. It aims to increase awareness, improve confidence and self esteem through a structured training course taken in five training sessions, over five weeks, or longer. Adults with learning disabilities and support workers in British Columbia, Canada developed this course and the pack over a number of years. Advocacy and self-advocacy are well supported in British Columbia. The text and the colour illustrations have been adapted for a British audience. Advocacy in its many forms aims to give people with a learning disability a stronger voice to make their wishes and needs known, and to protect vulnerable individuals. The course can be facilitated and taught by people with learning disabilities with some support, or by support staff. The materials are designed for group work, with a variety of exercises to be introduced, explained and practised over the five weeks. (The five weeks time period is a guide – some people may extend the course to allow for more time). Instructions on how to introduce the topics and how to run the group are included, together with handouts and illustrations to be used each week.
This pack can be used as a one-off course, which is repeatable, or as part of an existing curriculum. The course has been successfully used and well evaluated in day services and group homes, as well as by self-advocacy groups. Learning and teaching methods The materials are written in plain language and in an interactive style. The pack contains individual and group activities, structured text and role-plays. The materials are designed to encourage people to use their own experiences as a basis for new learning. Participants are asked to practise skills between sessions and report back each week on their successes.
This initiative builds on the success of a Study Visit to British Columbia organised by the School of Psychology, University of St Andrews and the British Columbia Association for Community Living. (See also the publication and course ‘Approaches to Advocacy for and by Adults with Learning Disabilities’ ISBN 095366 820 7)
The materials begin with a basic introduction about organising the course, leading the group and timings. Practical advice on preparing for each session is given. Each week begins with a set of clear goals and each week’s work builds on previous exercises. There are clear directions for reviewing what has been learned. Suggested timings for each exercise are also included.
This is not a University accredited course, but blank certificates of course completion are included in the pack, to be completed and awarded by those organising the course. For further details please contact Dr Martin Campbell.