When Concept Northern first started helping individuals with dyslexia, over twenty years ago, the training landscape was very different. Our support concentrated on in-person, one-to-one sessions where trainers would guide learners through using their assistive technology and establishing strategies to overcome their barriers.
That style of training is still at the heart of what we do. Our trainers visit over a thousand individuals each year, in education and in the workplace, to offer advice and support which is unique to a person’s own learning requirements. But back when we started, the Internet was still in its infancy. Now, it offers a wealth of opportunities for us to offer a more complete training experience for all of our customers. We like to think of this integrated approach as 360° support.
Our e-learning portal – conceptlearning.co.uk – continues to offer online courses covering the latest assistive-technology products. Courses are feature-rich, interactive and written especially for individuals with dyslexia. They complement our in-person training by providing companion resources which can be accessed whenever required, and long after a block of training is complete.
Our online ‘Ask a Trainer Service’ also extends our post-training guidance. Learners can log in and ask our experienced trainers about their assistive technology, or get answers to any questions they may have. Answers, which can include video tutorials, are stored in a learner’s account and can be accessed at any time.
This year, we’ve also started to use Concept Learning to provide each learner with individualised goals and objectives to help document our in-person training. At the initial session, our trainers work with learners to discover what tasks they’re struggling with. This provides the basis of a custom “Learning Plan” which also sets out what skills each trainer will cover during subsequent sessions to address those barriers. On training completion, learners receive a “Training Report”. This summarises what they achieved during training and provides an opportunity for both trainer and learner to provide feedback.
Face-to-face training still offers the best training experience for everyone. But by using technology to our advantage, we can extend our commitment to learners even further. Over the next twenty years, we expect it to become an increasingly important part of our inclusive training coverage.