Free inclusion online training for teachers

I recently went to a talk at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital, and over the tea and cake that followed ran into the lovely Mary Kanaris, who studied Speech Pathology with me back in the dark ages, after which we both worked in western suburbs schools.

Mary is now the Inclusion Online Lead Tutor and Coordinator for the More Support for Students with Disabilities National Partnership in the Student Inclusion and Engagement Division of the Early Childhood and School Education Group of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

This both impresses me and reminds me why I left the Department years ago, while she sensibly stayed and got Long Service Leave. Hierarchy and bureaucracy always make me want to stand up and sing Court Of King Caractacus in meetings, in fact in the 1990s I invented a rudimentary form of B-S Bingo during a long, compulsory-attendance, mind-bogglingly boring departmental briefing full of acronyms and edubabble. But I digress.

The resilient Mary is now involved in running free online training on disability topics for Victorian government school employees, and one of the courses is called Understanding Dyslexia and Significant Difficulties in Reading. This course is also available in Qld, NSW, SA and Tasmania.

The course was developed in the UK and is done mostly online. It includes:

  • Access to a tutor,
  • Practical resources and tools for the classroom,
  • 20 hours of online learning spread across a school term (about two hours per week),
  • 3 face to face sessions,
  • A nice Certificate of Completion at the end, and I guess the course counts towards meeting VIT or other PD requirements.

To look at sample course pages, click here.

If you're a government school employee and would like to do this course this term, or one of the three similar courses (on Autism, Hearing Loss or Speech, Language and Communication Needs), the main thing to do is HURRY UP and see if there are still places available in your region, by going to PD Online. If you can't find the course you want on the website, and you can't contact your regional person in a hurry, and you're in Victoria, I suggest you email kanaris.mary.k (at) edumail.vic.gov.au. She's very nice and I'm sure she'll be able to help you (sorry, Mary, if that fills up your inbox).

If you're a parent and think your child's teacher might be interested in one of these courses, please make sure she or he knows they're on – Education departments are big, unweildy things, and sometimes information doesn't always get through.

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