Make Evaluations Accessible
Complicating factors usually arise when you begin evaluating training sessions:
- Persons with a range of disabilities might have difficulty filling out pre- and post-tests. For example, they may be unable to use their hands because of severe arthritis, spinal cord injuries, or cerebral palsy or they may have difficulty reading the questions.
- Pre- and post-testing can set up test anxiety in the audience. Although the pilot sites reminded people that they were testing the facilitator’s teaching effectiveness and not the participants’ grasp of the information, they still experienced resistance.
- Pre- and post-tests are not always an effective measurement for persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Be aware, again, that persons with intellectual disabilities have often been trained to comply with authority figures and may answer in ways that they perceive would please the trainer.
When giving surveys or tests to persons with intellectual disabilities, people who are physically unable to write responses, or people with limited English reading and writing skills, adapt your evaluation method:
- Ask questions orally of the group, and note the responses.
- If the class is small and staff are available, have staff work one-on-one with individuals who need assistance with the evaluation form.
- Use an evaluation instrument that has been adapted for people with limited English reading skills.
For people who do not read, write, or speak, consider developing a visual aid that features scenarios discussed during the educational session, and ask participants to point to or circle answers.