“A series of videos for trainees and managers to learn the best practices for a correct relationship between the trainee and their colleagues for achieving an excellent job”
The 14 short videos (about 3 minutes each) describe good and bad practices in the relationship between the trainee with intellectual disabilities and their tutor, as well as the other co-workers.
The tutors most frequent questions are addressed:
- What kind of help/support does the trainee need?
- What type of relationship is there?
- What language is used?
- What expectations are there, in respect to the rules, for the productivity of the trainee?
Some typical situations are illustrated:
- Error correction
- Adoption of stereotypes
- Recall of correct professional behaviours: adequate uniform, punctuality
- Respect for everyone’s time and capabilities
- Organisation and formulation of instructions for the tasks to complete
- Personal relationships between the trainee and tutor.
#We are all different – As able as anybody
It’s important for the tutor to be aware of the stereotypes about Down Syndrome. The individual person comes before the label. Every person is different and is able to actively participate in the teamwork.
#The Table for Breakfast – Correcting mistakes
Keywords: Professional skills
The tutor has to face critical situations/mistakes at work and should be able to support the trainee with specific evaluation moments. Tutors should explain how to perform a task and then immediately correct any error: it helps the trainee to understand if he/she is wrong and to slowly learn the right way.
#Ready for work – Every detail matters
Keywords: Professional skills; Decision Making; Problem solving.
In this video the tutor introduces an important statement about the good standing at work and the relevance of the uniform as a professional tool. The tutor should send the trainee to the dressing room to dress the uniform as standard procedure and let him/her recover the time he/she has lost.
The uniform is a tool at work. It must be worn correctly. Encourage the trainee to evaluate the quality of his clothes and let him correct it.
#Red Lips – Tools to help
Keywords: Work tools, Task checklist
The “good” tutor has to develop detailed task and process descriptions. In some specific cases, it’s useful to propose some tools as a checklist, in order to clarify and remember all the necessary steps to perform a specific task.
#Right on time – Everyone must be punctual
Keywords: Cross skills; Problem solving; Self awareness.
The tutor underlines the importance of timing and being punctual at work. At the same time, she gives the trainee the opportunity to apologise for his behaviour and become more aware of his cross skills.
#Now I’II explain it slowly to you – Using clear and simple language
Keywords: User-friendly communication
The tutor has to explain the tasks with simple and clear language and give immediately the practical example in order to match theory with practice.
#Sometimes I don’t need help – Do not interfere
Keywords: Trust; Self awareness; Self empowerment.
If a colleague asks to do something, he/she has to show it to the trainee and then wait for his/her performance, without getting anxious about timing: trainees with DS require patience and confidence that they are able to perform the task.
Self-empowerment can arise when a trainee is given trust, autonomy and encouragement to carry out job-related tasks.
It’s important not to substitute the trainee and give her/him the opportunity and the time needed to ask for help or complete the task on his/her own.
#Do you want an piece of advice? – Different and conflicting messages
Keywords: Key figure, Reference point
If the tutor gives too much information, the trainee may get confused.
It’s important to have just one tutor who teaches the tasks. Too many figures and advices confuse the trainee.
#Let’s have a snack – Waiting for the right time to eat
Keywords: Cross skills; Schedule.
All breaks must always have a starting time and an ending time, in order to avoid that trainees take advantage of it and stop every time they like or get confused about rules and procedures.
Shifts and breaks are to be organised in accordance with the established schedule, and the tutor should require compliance and/or justification in case of fault.
Many people with DS have a particular interest in food and should be made aware that, when at work, they can only eat during breaks.
#To each his own time – Respect tasks and times
Keywords: Different pace, Goals
Every person establishes his/her own time management. It could take more time for trainees than other workers to perform one task but this does not mean that they will not reach the goal.
The tutor should promote the right understanding of the trainee due to the need of adjusting the intensity of the working pace.
#Fast & Bossy – Clear and simple instructions
Keywords: Targeted Communication.
The tutor should provide clear, simple and precise instructions, taking into account an adequate language for the trainee’s level of understanding. New activities or changes have to be introduced little by little, through continuous repetitions and training.
Sometimes, it’s necessary to subdivide the instructions that are given to the trainees, one at a time, making sure that they understand all the vocabulary and the given instructions.
#Menu of the day: Amatriciana – Explaining tasks
Keywords: Language and tasks
It’s important to provide all the information with the support of a list or similar tools.
Using complex language without segmenting tasks creates confusion and difficulties in trainees.
#Business is business – Be professional
Keywords: Professional Role; Formal & informal.
It’s important to explain the formal/informal rules in the workplace. It’s highly recommended to respect the private life and not to mention it during working time, in order to avoid confusion or misperceptions of the roles and the boundaries between trainee and tutor.
We can play at work, but there are rules to follow and work to do. Pauses are the best times to get together with colleagues. In the work context, we are colleagues and not friends.
#Friends but not too close – Professional relationships with colleagues
Keywords: Professional language, professional relationship
The relationship among trainee and tutor should be professional, with a correct language and specific rules. If a trainee asks immediately for the phone number or to get involved, it is better to stick to reality. At the same time, the tutor shouldn’t use informal or personal codes to establish a professional relationship.