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The Challenge of Getting Training. Staying Current.

Karen in SausalitoAs a professional, it’s important to me to stay on top of what’s new both with assistive technology products and disability policies and issues. I’m always looking to grow in my field, to get better. I love finding tips and tricks that I can implement the next day or week or year! 

What I have found in my career is that I learn best when I’m in charge of my professional development. When I can choose the time and place that I attend training. I love being able to watch a short video or read a blog post when I’m waiting in line, sitting at the doctor’s office, at the car wash, on a lunch break. I enjoy live webinars that give me an opportunity to ask the presenter questions specific to my challenges. For me, this is Just in Time training. I have an issue and I search for an expert who can provide me the answer I need now.

Speaking of the experts, it’s worth exploring whether or not your favorite presenters write a blog that can provide excellent advice on new products, strategies or policy updates. Blogs are also great for suggestions on the "Top 10", listings of their picks for the top products in a specific AT category. Visit our AT Experts page to get started.

Some experts (both those that teach and those that use assistive technology) will create videos on YouTubeVimeo, or Daily Motion. If you find someone you like, be sure to subscribe to or follow their account. Visit our AT Videos page for some great examples.

I’m always on a budget so try to find as many free training resources as possible. There’s a lot out there. Lisa Wahl at the ATC publishes a monthly list of Free Webinars on a variety of topics. Check it out. And while you are there, be sure to Subscribe to our newsletter!

I also try to make time to go to a Conference once every couple of years because I meet those experts in person, I have a chance to develop a support team with others attending, and I can have hands-on with new technologies in the vendor hall.

My focus in managing the ATC website is striving to provide you with lots of resources to meet your needs for training and professional development. Be sure to visit our Training webpage for links to resources. I invite you to join our Forum and send me an email (ksheehan@cforat.org) with questions or other training resources that you've found valuable.