Latest news

Back to all news items

When training is accessible, everyone learns more

07 June 2017
Vision Australia, in partnership with The Learning Hook and CoTe Software & Solutions, has won the 2017 Platinum Award for Best Accessibility in the LearnX Impact Awards.

The Award recognised the development of a fully accessible suite of eLearning courses which 
were developed to support front-line staff provide an exceptional level of service to clients, in line with new service delivery practices and individualised funding under the NDIS and My Aged Care.

A new way of working

In FY16, Vision Australia introduced a transdisciplinary and primary service provider service delivery approach.

The transdisciplinary approach involves a team of professionals working together to deliver services that are specifically tailored to each individual client.  As part of the approach, each client is appointed a Primary Service Provider who works in partnership with them to define their goals and coordinate service delivery.

“The Primary Service Provider is the client’s main contact at Vision Australia and they generally provide the majority of services. As well as delivering the service they specialise in, such as adaptive technology or occupational therapy they also use direct intervention strategies from outside their discipline with supervision and support from their colleagues. This is to ensure effective and efficient service delivery to our clients,” Sam Coad, Business Transformation project manager said.

“As clients move into the NDIS and My Aged Care there is a greater focus on client goal attainment. Our teams needed to better understand how to develop specific and measurable goals to ensure our clients were able to attain their aspirations and goals within their allocated funding. This needed to be supported with effective note taking which provides evidence of the services delivered.” 

About the eLearning courses

The eLearning courses – Developing SMARTA Goals, Effective Note Taking, Primary Service Provider and Transdisciplinary Practice, and Person Centredness – provide a cost-effective and manageable way of delivering training to a large number of geographically-diverse staff in Vision Australia’s offices across Australia.

A key requirement of the project was that the eLearning courses needed to informative, engaging and interactive for staff who have a range of vision levels.

“This is really important to us as 15 per cent of our staff are blind or have low vision. Quite often, a course may be classified as accessible and meet all accessibility requirements, however, if it isn’t user friendly with Jaws or other screen readers it can be difficult to navigate. Often, it does not provide a satisfying user experience,” Ms Coad advised.  

“So, in order to achieve a product that would meet our accessibility requirements yet be interactive and interesting for all staff, we needed to push the boundaries.  The eLearning courses required extensive testing and feedback by our Adaptive Technology Trainers, and the developers at The Learning Hook had to ‘think outside the box’. A lot of patience was required by everyone to achieve a successful end result.”

Integration of the eLearning courses

To support the implementation with front-line service teams the eLearning courses were paired with detailed service approach documentation and dedicated ‘change partners’ were allocated to each of Vision Australia’s regions. Regional Practice Leaders who were responsible for supporting the implementation of the changes and monitoring quality were also introduced in each region. 

Feedback from staff who use screen reader software has been very positive with some reporting that the eLearning courses are the most accessible training material they have used.

“Completion rates of the eLearning courses are very high, and based upon participant feedback, management can confidently say that most people found the learning to be effective,” Ms Coad said.

Sharing the learning

An unexpected outcome of the project has been an approach from a healthcare organisation which provides a comprehensive range of health and wellbeing services for people in regional Victoria.

“The organisation heard about the eLearning courses and contacted us to discuss using them. As a result, we have partnered with this organisation and provided them with a version of the eLearning courses that suit their needs. This is a real testament to the quality of the training and its practical application,” Ms Coad concluded.

Print Print larger font