This policy establishes guidelines for staff training to prepare staff members to work more effectively with DBS consumers.
The Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) provides employee immersion training through CCRC to facilitate a better understanding of the Division for Blind Services (DBS) mission for DBS staff members. Employees receive blindness skills training to enhance their effectiveness in working with consumers who are blind or visually impaired. CCRC provides various trainings to meet the needs of the different staff positions within DARS.
Immersion training provides experience in nonvisual learning and exposes staff members to adjustment-to-blindness issues. The training also provides opportunities for participants to exchange information with CCRC staff members and consumers.
Training coordinators must
- oversee staff participation in the immersion training program,
- schedule daily learning activities for the participants, and
- provide feedback to the participants’ supervisors at the end of immersion training.
Staff members must
- participate in up to six weeks of immersion training, and
- complete a reflective essay describing their experience.
DBS Field Staff Members
DBS field staff members must
- attend two weeks of Introduction to Blindness training or up to four weeks of immersion training,
- complete a reflective essay describing their experience, and
- make their own travel and lodging arrangements to attend the training.
Staff members use the following procedure to coordinate the provision of immersion training:
- Supervisors refer DBS staff members to the CCRC training coordinator for immersion training.
- DARS supervisors outside DBS may request immersion training for staff members through the assistant commissioner or designee.
- The CCRC training coordinator notifies employees of the start date for training.
- DARS employees make travel and lodging arrangements to attend training in Austin.