Monday, October 15, 2012

FREEZE FRAME!!!!--- The Resistance Zoo

This is a bit of fun and a lot of serious. It is surprising how many animals you can spot in change. Using animals is an entertaining and useful metaphor that you can use in many situations to break the ice and tell home truths.

My zoo

Here are some of the animals in my zoo. I've met all of these along the way in the change work I've done.


The ostrich famously puts its head in the sand when faced with danger. Like a small child, they work on the principle that if they cannot see the predator then the predator cannot see them. This does not seem to be a very good survival strategy. Fortunately, the ostrich also has long legs and can run away very fast.


Moles are dark and difficult to see. They burrow underground and are hard to find. Then they pop up when you think everything has been completed and the change is complete. They make a horrible mess of things and are very destructive.


Tigers fight tooth and claw all the way. They are powerful -- or at least that is what they want you to believe. Hurt them only a little and they will seek to hurt you a whole lot more. Their message is this: mess with me at your peril. Go make your change elsewhere little person.


Dogs know that, although they are not bad fighters by themselves, they are far more powerful in a pack. They seek one another out and attack en masse. They are not fearless but know that together they create even more fear. They will fight dirty and nip at you until you are down and then rip you apart.


Owls are wise and knowledgeable people. They sit up on their branches in their tree, pontificating and pointing down at the trivial world below. The know better than you and are not slow to point this out, as well as pointing out all the little faults in your change project (which is, of course, somewhat below them).


Well, you knoow, those old snails, they just go soo slooww. They creep along at, well, a snail's pace and hope that you will leave them to their own devices. Ho hum. See you then.

Your zoo

You can use the zoo in a workshop or in conversations. Give a few examples and ask people what other animals they can find. Make a collection. Have fun spotting new ones out there in the world around you.

See also

The Nature of Support

Much analysis of people in change is focused on those who resist and oppose change. This is missing a significant trick: you can gain at least two benefits from analyzing the nature of the support you have.
  • You will better know how to use that support to make the change happen.
  • You may find how tentative that support is and know how to shore it up.

Understand their personality

Go look at the analysis factors for the nature of opposition. Many of these may be applied in a similar sense to understand the nature of support. You may also look at other preference factors to determine their tendencies.

Understand their commitment

Understand the decision process whereby they decided to support the change. If you understand what persuaded them, you will be better able to keep them persuaded. You may also be able to use the same approach with others.
  • Are they ready to be a Leadership or do they just want to Follow?
  • If they are following, what persuaded them? (your vision, persuasive skills, etc.)
  • If they want to lead, what opportunities do they see? (advancement, contribution, etc.)
  • What support are they ready to give? (One-to-one, public, use of authority, etc.)
  • How 'change ready' are they? (raring to go, tiptoeing forward, etc.)
Also consider the potential that they have for going the other way, and becoming opponents against the change. This can be a disastrous event as they may take other people with them.
  • What are their expectations? What's in it for them? What would they think if they did not get what they expect? What would they do?
  • What would cause them to become opponents of the change? How easily would they be tipped over into opposition?

Understand the impact of their support

Some people can have a far greater level of impact with the supportive actions that they can take. This may be due to their formal position and the direct authority they have. It may also be to their social position -- some people are strongly networked and have a surprising number of friends. You can thus ask:
  • What connection do they have to other people? What is their job history? What is their social position? Are they a strong networker?
  • How effective would their support be? Would they be able to convert others? How powerful would those others be in sustaining the change? How many others could they convert?



Teach people about the need for change and how embracing change is a far more effective life strategy than staying where they are or resisting.
Teach people the methods of change, about how to be logical and creative in improving processes and organizations.


A 3-day class is set up in process improvement in which people apply methods to a designed problem.
Coaches work with teams, supporting their process of change.


A gentler way of helping people see the need for change is via educative means. This includes presentations, communications and full-on training sessions.
Education, done well, is more of a process of elicitation, drawing out understanding from the other person rather than talking at them. The root of the word is the Latin duco, 'meaning to lead', and is the same as duke. Leading in change is itself often a process of education, and may be done in many situations.
An issue in change is that people often feel powerless. Education gives them the power to change.

Learning Theory

Explanations > Learning Theory

Learning is one of main ways that we change minds. By definition, learning is changing your mind.

So what?

So understand how people learn and teach them by the ways they prefer - not how you prefer to teach (which is probably also your preferred learning style).

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Power of Teams In Negotiations

Course Description

This course is designed to provide you with a competitive advantage in negotiation. You will learn and practice the technical skills and analytic frameworks that are necessary to negotiate successfully with peers from other top business schools, and you will learn methods for developing the powerful social capital you will need to rise in the executive ranks of any organization.
In this course, you will learn to successfully face the challenge of negotiating materially rewarding deals while also building your social capital. You will work with training materials on leadership and relationship building that have been used with over 200 principals and partners in international professional service firms (40% were non-US nationals), and a social capital assessment tool used by these executives to receive feedback from senior partners and over 2000 clients. In addition, you will have the opportunity to participate in a lunchtime workshop on "Leadership and Emotional Intelligence" led by an executive coach, Charles Wolfe of Charles J Wolfe Associates.
Overall, this course is designed to enhance your ability to negotiate within the context of an ongoing relationship. As a manager, consultant, or professional service provider you will negotiate with your counterparts, team members, clients, and subordinates on an ongoing basis. Further, in today's less hierarchical organizations, you will be forced to negotiate with others to get your work done. Every time a project falls behind, critical new information is uncovered, or the competitive landscape of your industry changes, you will need to renegotiate tasks, plans, goals, or fees with your key stakeholders.
In sum, we will focus both on the analytic tools necessary to become a highly successful negotiator and on the relationship building skills necessary to negotiate deals that will enhance your social capital, your ability to lead others, and your book of loyal clients.

The power of teams in negotiations

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Center for Lifelong Learning Publications


Educational Expert Advise- Link to Wikipedia on Ed.S, School Psychologist & More


The Specialist in School Psychology (SSP) degree is similar to the Ed.S. in School Psychology. It is typically granted when the program is located in a department of psychology rather than education.



The Lifelong Learning Resource Center

ACE's Center for Lifelong Learning (CLLL) has led the national movement to recognize and promote adult learner programs in higher education. A national leader in shaping policies, practices, and perceptions about continuous learning, the Center's commitment to adult learners includes programs, services, tools, and research to help bridge the gaps in serving diverse learners, alleviating workforce shortages, and meeting professional education demands in order to support access to and success in postsecondary education.




ACE and the business community
etc.. FEMA or Federal Aviation Association

ePortfolios- Academic GPS

(1) ACE - American Council on Education
publishes : Guide to the evaluation of educational experiences in the armed forces

National guide to educational credit for training programs

(2) New York National Program on Noncollegiate Sponsored Instruction


21st-century skills: Critical thinking

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To “superstruct” means to create structures that go beyond
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Our tools and technologies shape the kinds of social,
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scientific knowledge and technologies. Today we see this
organizational landscape being disrupted. In health, organizations
such as Curetogether and PatientsLikeMe are allowing
people to aggregate their personal health information to
allow for clinical trials and emergence of expertise outside
of traditional labs and doctors’ offices. Science games, from
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solve problems no single organization had the resources to
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A new generation of organizational concepts and work skills
is coming not from traditional management/organizational
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creation of new training paradigms and tools.

Use the ACE CREDIT® Registry and Transcript System to maintain an account of your ACE-reviewed training or order an official ACE transcript. The ACE CREDIT Registry and Transcript System is only for adult learners that have successfully completed:
Courses and examinations through ACE CREDIT Evaluated Organizations or
CEU requirements for IACET Authorized Providers that participate in the ACE CEU Transcript Service.

Check to see if your completed course or examination has been reviewed by ACE CREDIT for a college credit recommendation or carries the IACET CEU requirement.
If you are new to the ACE CREDIT Registry and Transcript Site and have completed a course or exam with any of the following organizations, please click here for additional instructions:
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, Inc. (ACTFL)
Element K
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)
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Saturday, August 18, 2012

excerpt from Oh The Places You Will Go... Dr. Seuss

You can get so confused that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

Waiting for the fish to bite
or wating for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance
Everyone is just waiting.
...for people just waiting...

Wating for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow
Everyone is just waiting
Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying
you'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.
With banner flip-flapping once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of guy!!!

Oh the places you'll go! There's fund to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all,
Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV!!
Except when they don't
Because, sometimes, they won't
I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

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“Our deepest fear is not that we are powerless. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” Nelson Mandela, 1994

The Specialist in School Psychology (SSP) degree is similar to the Ed.S. in School Psychology

As Defined: Educational Specialist

The Education Specialist, also referred to as Educational Specialist, Specialist in Education, or Ed.S., is an advanced academic degree in the U.S. that is designed for individuals who wish to develop additional skills or increase their knowledge beyond the master's degree level, but may not wish to pursue a degree at the doctoral level.

The Ed.S. degree is a focused degree program that is considered by accrediting bodies as the completion of the sixth year of collegiate study,(between the master's and doctorate), assuming a master's degree in education. Programs typically require from 30 to 45 semester hours beyond a master's degree, but may be as high as 65. Many also require an oral defense of a scholarly thesis or field study, similar to a dissertation at the culmination of the degree. While master's degree holders can usually be confident of advancement and upward movement on the salary scale, the Ed.S. degree holder may find that managers are often not aware of, or do not have a way of recognizing, this lesser-known degree, although some post-secondary faculty union contracts in the U.S. recognize the Ed.S. as equivalent to a doctorate on their salary scales. Some Ed.S. degree holders were on their path to earn the Ph.D, but may have stopped short of completion due to some unforeseen contingencies. Some Ed.S. programs function as a bridge between a master's degree and a doctorate via articulation agreements.
The Specialist in School Psychology (SSP) degree is similar to the Ed.S. in School Psychology. It is typically granted when the program is located in a department of psychology rather than education.
Some universities may use an abbreviation other than Ed.S. to indicate completion of this degree. At Arkansas State University, for example, students may earn an S.C.C.T. (Specialist in Community College Teaching).

Education Specialist (Ed.S.) in Teaching and Learning

The Education Specialist in Teaching and Learning program is designed to provide a high level of professional proficiency skills as well as research skills which are emphasized throughout the program course work. The role of the classroom teacher is expanded to that of teacher/research which allows the Education Specialist candidate to become a more active participant and critical consumer of educational research. The Ed.S. in Teaching and Learning curriculum is based on an inquiry approach that emphasizes reflective, problem-solving skills applicable to a multitude of education problems, pedagogy, and issues.

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The MCEC Transition Counselor Institute (TCI) Phase Two is the second interactive professional development institute and focuses on the social and emotional implications as they relate to the transitioning student. Deployment and separation, building confidence and resiliency, and supporting children through trauma and loss are some of the modules addressed in TCI Phase Two.

Read more about Transition Counselors Institute (TCI-2) Phase Two »

Thursday, August 16, 2012

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School Counseling Programs

Students Occupationally and Academically Ready (PA CTE)

Sir Ken Robinson - Leading a Learning Revolution

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Productivity Tip: Avoid Distractions By Timing Yourself

by on August 3, 2012 | 1 Comment » | 531 Views

Distractions are everywhere. But what if you only challenged yourself to pay attention for short, manageable bursts of time? Would you be more productive?Pomodoro Technique Logo
That’s the theory behind the Pomodoro Technique, which prescribes 25 minute burst of attention. That means you set a timer, and for 25 minutes you concentrate on just one activity, and don’t check email, Twitter, your eBay auctions, nothing. Just one task. And if you’re interrupted, you start the timer over. Just the threat of being forced to start over (and going an extra few minutes without Twitter) should be enough to scare some people into 25 minutes of attention.
After 25 minutes, you take a break of five minutes, give or take. Then after four Pomodoros, it’s time for a longer break. The idea is that consistent breaks in your attention saves your brain from burnout, and that setting small, manageable goals helps ward off the anxiety of the overwhelmingly long to-do list.
Frencesco Cirillo, Pomodoro creator, has made a basic introduction to the technique available as a free pdf on the website There are also testimonials from other Pomodoro users, program updates, meetups for practitioners and even t-shirts for the true believers.
Cirillo recommends using a standard kitchen timer, but for the connected professional there are also digital and mobile alternatives. Pomodairo is a free Adobe Air app that lets you make intuitive to-do lists, a timer for pomodoros, and helps you keep track of your work (and any unanticipated interruptions). For just a timer, try, which works in the browser and doesn’t require a download, even on iPhone and Android.
For an app proper, iDevice users can try Pomodoro Time Management Light for free to see if they’re ready for the full version. The full version is only $1.99, so if you decide to upgrade it won’t be a huge pain point. Android users can try Pomodoro Tasks, available for free in the Google Play store.
If you’ve tried the Pomodoro technique before, fill us in on your experiences in the comments. We’re all looking for ways to be more productive – help us out!

Monday, August 6, 2012


Cognitive Disabilities

Functional vs. Clinical Cognitive Disabilities

There are at least two ways to classify cognitive disabilities: by functional disability or by clinical disability. Clinical diagnoses of cognitive disabilities include autism, Down Syndrome, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and even dementia. Less severe cognitive conditions include attention deficit disorder (ADD), dyslexia (difficulty reading), dyscalculia (difficulty with math), and learning disabilities in general. Clinical diagnoses may be useful from a medical perspective for treatment, but for the purposes of web accessibility, classifying cognitive disabilities by functional disability is more useful. Functional disabilities ignore the medical or behavioral causes of the disability and instead focus on the resulting abilities and challenges. Some of the main categories of functional cognitive disabilities include deficits or difficulties with:
  1. Memory
  2. Problem-solving
  3. Attention
  4. Reading, linguistic, and verbal comprehension
  5. Math comprehension
  6. Visual comprehension
The main reason why these functional disabilities are more useful when considering web accessibility is that they are more directly related to the concerns of Web developers. Telling a developer that some people have autism is not very meaningful unless the developer knows what kinds of barriers a person with autism might face. On the other hand, telling a developer that some people have difficulties comprehending math provides the developer with a framework for addressing this type of audience.
Additionally, clinical diagnoses are not mutually exclusive in terms of what difficulties the people face. There is often considerable overlap of functional disabilities within clinical diagnoses. A person with memory deficits may also have difficulty with attention or problem-solving, for example. This kind of overlap fits within a medical model, but is not particularly helpful to web developers, who simply need to know what the person can or cannot do.


Memory refers to the ability of a user to recall what they have learned over time. A common model for explaining memory involves the concepts of working (i.e., immediate) memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory. Meaningful information is typically moved up the chain from immediate to short-term into long-term memory stores. Some individuals with cognitive disabilities have difficulties with one, two, or all three of these memory types. The more meaningful content is to the needs of the user, the greater the chances that it will be moved into functional memory storage in the brain. Some users may have memory difficulties that impair their ability to remember how they got to content on and off the Web site.


Some individuals with cognitive disabilities have a difficult time solving problems as they arise. In many instances, their resilience can be low and the resulting frustration is such that they choose to leave the site and not persist to solve the problem. One example of this would be the presence of a 404 error from a bad link, or a link that does not take them where they thought they were going.


Enthusiastic childThere are many individuals that have difficulty with focusing their attention to the task at hand. Distractions such as scrolling text and blinking icons can make the web environment difficult. Even for typical users the presence of blinking and scrolling items or multiple pop-ups can be irritating. Good design principles would limit these instances to only that which is necessary to convey the content.
Some people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have difficulties learning, but oftentimes this is due to their distractibility, rather than to any kind of inability to process information. People with ADHD can be impulsive, easily distracted, and inattentive. On a positive note, some people with attention deficits are highly creative and very productive in short bursts, with an abundance of energy and enthusiasm. On a less positive note, it can be difficult for people with ADHD to stick to a task for a long period of time. On the Web, flashing banner ads can be distracting, as well as anything that draws a person's attention away from the main content.

Reading, Linguistic, and Verbal Comprehension

complex words floating through spaceSome individuals have difficulties understanding text. These difficulties may be mild or severe, ranging from minor challenges to a complete inability to read any text. It would be unreasonable to expect web developers to accommodate the entire range of reading abilities. The difference between non-readers and genius readers is simply too vast. It is reasonable, however, to expect developers to write as simply and clearly as possible, taking into account the primary audience and including those who may have difficulty with some of the content. After all, an estimated 15-20% of the population has some sort of language or text comprehension difficulty.
Although the claims are difficult to verify, it is commonly reported that many famous leaders and intellectuals had difficulty reading and/or spelling, including: Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Albert Einstein, George Washington, John F. Kennedy, Leonardo da Vinci and others. The take-home message is that writers do not know whether members of their audience have reading difficulties or not. This is a condition which many people manage to keep well hidden.
Here is one example of a reading problem. Note that it may be one of perception or of processing. See if the associated accessibility fix helps you.
What is being said in this phrase?
Tob eornot obe
Now check the power and importance of embedded graphics as a way to enhance the context of the written word by looking at the phrase with a graphic.
Another interesting simulation of a reading difficulty and our resilience in the face of reading problems can be found at - external link.

Non-Literal Text

A problem for some readers is non-literal text, such as sarcasm, satire, parody, allegory, metaphor, slang, and colloquialisms. In some cases, readers will not realize that the words are not meant to be understood literally. A writer who says "I just love getting stuck in traffic when I'm already late for work" probably means the opposite of what this sentence actually says. Sarcasm such as this can be confusing to some readers. Similarly, someone who reads she must "get her ducks in a row" may not realize that the author is probably not referring to real ducks at all. The author is suggesting that the reader get organized or disciplined, using the comparison of a mother duck with her ducklings lined up behind her in order to illustrate the concept.

Non-Existent Text

The unstated assumptions and implied meaning of written content may seem obvious to the writer, but readers may not have the necessary background knowledge. Some readers may not have the skills to infer meaning from text without additional help.

Math Comprehension

Mathematical expressions are not easy for everybody to understand. This does not mean that authors should avoid math entirely. For people who are comfortable reading equations and thinking mathematically, the best way to explain mathematical concepts is to use equations. On the other hand, often it is helpful to explain math conceptually, either with or without the formulas. Conceptual explanations help readers understand the reasoning behind the math.

Visual Comprehension

Some individuals have difficulties processing visual information. In many ways, this is the opposite of the problem experienced by people with reading and verbal processing difficulties. Individuals with visual comprehension difficulties may not recognize objects for what they are. They may recognize the fact that there are objects on a Web page, but may not be able to identify the objects. For example, they may not realize that a photograph of a person is a representation of a person, though they can plainly see the photograph itself (as an object) on the web page.
For these people, a moving, talking person in a video may be easier to identify and mentally process than a static image of a person in a photograph. Video and multimedia, accompanied with narration, may be the best way to communicate to these individuals.


Any list of design considerations for users with cognitive disabilities can easily turn into a lengthy list of usability concerns and general "good design principles." The ideas presented here do not exhaust all avenues of thought on the topic, by any means. They merely present some of the larger principles which categorize more specific techniques.

Accommodating Memory Deficits

Any kind of reminder of the overall context of a web site can help people with memory deficits. Lengthy interactive processes, such as those required to purchase items online, should be kept as simple and brief as possible. To focus the users' attention on specific tasks, the interaction should probably be broken up into separate pages, but help users keep track of their progress so they do not get lost in the process. Simple reminders such as "step 2 of 4" help them keep track of what they have already done and what they have left to do. Each step can also be named or labeled so instead of saying "previous page" and "next page," a link could say "previous page (payment and shipping information)" and "next page (review order)."

Accommodating Problem-Solving Deficits

Everyone at some point or another accidentally clicks on the wrong link, misspells a word, or commits some kind of error on the web. This is normal human behavior. In some individuals, this tendency is exaggerated, so they make even more mistakes. Whether people make many or few mistakes, everyone likes to be able to correct their errors. Error messages should be as explanatory as possible, telling users what they did wrong and how to fix the problem. Search features should suggest alternate spellings to users if the original spelling seems suspicious or if it returns no results. Users should be warned when actions can cause potentially serious consequences, such as deleting a file. In many cases, providing instructions at the start of a task will eliminate or at least reduce the overall number of user errors. Also, avoid extreme changes in the context of the web site without first warning users. All functionality should be as predictable as possible, and any deviations from predictability should be preceded by warnings and/or explained to users after the changes occur.

Accommodating Attention Deficits

Focus the attention of users. Use visual cues to highlight important points or sections of the content. If possible, eliminate advertisements and sponsored links. Use headings to draw attention to the important points and outline of the content. Avoid background noises or images that distract. Use them instead to focus the users attention.

Accommodating Reading, Linguistic, and Verbal Comprehension Deficits

Supplemental media

Supplemental media such as illustrations, icons, video and audio have the potential to greatly enhance the accessibility of web content for people with cognitive disabilities. The problem is that high quality media is often difficult to produce. Poor quality media may actually decrease the accessibility of Web content, by making it more confusing. But don't use this as an excuse not to try. Use your judgment. Incorporate media where it makes sense. Realize, too, that the vast majority of web content could benefit from some sort of supplemental media, if only supplemental graphics.

Document organization and structure

Structural organization

As a general statement, the more structured your document is, the easier it will be to understand. Structure in documents can be created by adding:
  • headings
  • bulleted lists
  • numbered lists
  • definition lists
  • indented quotes (using the <blockquote> tag)
All of the above structural elements can be added into the markup of the document. In other words, there are built in methods in HTML of designating a part of your content as a heading, or a list item, etc.

Visual organization

You can also add visual structure to a document that will benefit those who have sight. For example, you can:
  • indent sub-items in a hierarchical list*
  • highlight items by changing the font color or background color
Developers should not ignore the semantics of the markup language when trying to achieve a visual effect. For example, despite the fact that the <blockquote> tag causes the text within it to be visually indented, this tag should not be used for its visual effect alone. If the text truly is a quote, then the <blockquote> tag is appropriate. If the text is not a quote, then CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) attributes should be used to achieve the effect (for example, the developer could add the following style attribute to the paragraph tag: style="margin-left: 5%").

White space

It is usually easier to read text when it is visually separated from the borders of the surrounding design. People with reading disorders, such as dyslexia, can benefit from white space in the margins and vertical white space between headings, paragraphs, tables, etc. Long paragraphs can be more difficult to read than shorter ones, partly because readers may lose their place within the paragraph.

Clear and simple writing

Short, simple, unambiguous phrases are easier to understand than long, complex, ambiguous ones. People with more profound cognitive disabilities need sentences that are extremely short, simple, and unambiguous. In some cases, they will not be able to understand sentences at all, relying completely on graphics, illustrations, and other non-text visual materials. This does NOT mean that you have to create image-only sites for general audiences, though adding high-quality supplemental illustrations is certainly a good idea. If, however, your primary audience is individuals with more severe cognitive disabilities you may need to create an image-only site.
To the extent possible, try to avoid non-literal content such as sarcasm, parody, and metaphors. Also make sure to give readers all necessary background information about the topic at hand. (See also the section on writing clearly and simply.)

Accommodating Math Comprehension Deficits

Math computations or formulas can be difficult for many people to understand, whether they have a genuine deficit in math comprehension abilities or just "math phobia," to use the term "phobia" loosely. In this context, math phobia is not a clinical condition but a simple dislike of math, influenced largely by cultural factors. The United States, for some reason, has created a culture in which math is commonly disliked and derided. By way of comparison, math abilities are highly prized in Asian countries, and it would be somewhat of an insult to say that an Asian person is not good at math.
No matter what the cause of math comprehension deficits—biologically-based deficits or culturally-based aversions—authors can increase the understandability of their content by either avoiding math altogether, or by explaining the math conceptually. Where computations are required—as in e-commerce sites that add the price of the items purchased, tax, shipping and handling, and other charges—it is usually best to perform these computations automatically, so the user does not have to.

Accommodating Visual Comprehension Deficits

Usually, the best advice to help users with cognitive disabilities is to provide information in muliple formats, with a heavy emphasis on visual formats. While this remains true for the majority of people with cognitive disabilities, some types of cognitive disabilities cause difficulties in visual comprehension. If authors rely entirely on visual communication methods, some users will not understand the message. Visual communication methods include color, spatial relationships, styles, design elements, photos, images, etc.
Even though most web content suffers for a lack of visually-enhanced communicative methods, the take-home message is that no one method is sufficient by itself. Supplement the information with multiple modes and methods of communication.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Increase Employability by Drawing-out “Hidden” Skills

Webinar Recording:

Increase Employability by Drawing-out “Hidden” Skills

Webinar featuring work by CAEL and the Alameda County Workforce Investment Board to assess transferrable skills at New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc.

Community College Partnerships: From “Impossible” to “Done”

Building partnerships among institutions of higher learning can be challenging enough. Imagine trying to do this across state lines and state college systems.

But a rather novel partnership is just what Bismarck State College in North Dakota and the Connecticut Community College System have formed in response to the critical workforce training needs of a regional energy employer. In a unique and innovative partnership, the colleges have joined forces to offer on-the-ground and online education and training to Northeast Utilities (NU) employees, both current and new hires.

Sobering energy industry data show that upwards of 50% (almost 60,000) of the skilled technician and engineering workforce will be retiring or leaving the industry in the next few years. In addition, the National Commission on Energy Policy concludes that 150,000 new jobs will be needed to design and operate new low-carbon power sources in the coming years.

The serious ramifications for the energy industry if it doesn’t prepare for this loss of skills and knowledge can’t be downplayed. If NU and its education partners wanted to prepare for this demographic shift, they had little choice but to pull together and think outside the box.

NU had to make sure that it had a pool of skilled, qualified candidates to draw from to meet its workforce needs now and in the future. If it is going to have a future in energy, it has to prepare its workforce today. NU also recognized that it could meet its workforce needs only by providing a regional solution—it wasn’t viable to support a program at each college in the different communities it hires from.

As a member of the Energy Providers Coalition for Education (EPCE), a national alliance of electric utilities and organizations managed by CAEL, NU participated in developing an industry-built Electric Power Technology associate degree program available through EPCE at BSC. It made sense to tap into this resource to provide the specialized education and training it needed for its incumbent and future workforce.

The partnership allows Connecticut students in NU’s service areas to complete their general education and other technical courses on the ground at their home institutions, at any one of the 12 Connecticut community colleges. Students can simultaneously take Electric Power Technology courses online through BSC, and be awarded their degree, Associate in Technology Studies, by their home institution in Connecticut.

Developing a partnership like this takes patience and firm resolution as each partner works within and between their institutions to reach agreement on the many details of a partnership. This of course requires serious commitment and much dialogue between the many departments within a school.

But the payoff in the end is a collaboration that benefits each of the partners: the students who would otherwise not have access to the high quality, online industry-built and industry-endorsed program; the employer who taps into the industry expertise of an institution; and the education partners who can build capacity without duplicating existing programs. It’s a win all around!

If you’d like to learn more about how to build a similar successful partnership with an employer or an institution in your region, please contact me at I’m happy to talk about this unique partnership and the opportunities it presents

Lifelong Learning in the USA: A Focus on Innovation and Efficiency for the 21st Century Learner

International Journal of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning, Vol. 4, Issue 1 (Nov 2011)
Article by Pamela Tate, Rebecca Klein-Collins, and Karen Steinberg on innovations in adult learning. Copyright owned by International Journal of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning, Vol. 4, Issue 1 (Nov 2011), published by the School of Professional and Continuing Education, University of Hong Kong

Not Too Late for School: Winning Strategies to Help the Mature Learner- PDF available from weblink

CAEL's Tapping Mature Talent Series

Not Too Late for School: Winning Strategies to Help the Mature Learner

The Council for Adult & Experiential Learning (CAEL) has mapped out a set of strategies to support mature workers in becoming mature learners. This paper shares what we have learned and identifies the steps that states, localities, employers and educational providers can take to support mature learners.

Professional Development

Participate in a Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) webinar, face-to-face workshop, or certification program to gain critical knowledge that will help you dramatically increase adult learners’ success. Since 1974, we have set the standards for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), adult student advising, employee learning, and workforce development. You can rely on our professional development programs to help you help adult learners.
CAEL's 2012 Research Briefs on PLA

Employer Views on the Value of PLA

This CAEL research brief, produced in partnership with Prometric, presents highlights from conversations with 19 U.S. employers representing a range of industries on the topic of PLA. The conversations address the value of PLA to both workers and corporations, as well as employers’ views on PLA as an allowable expense within their tuition assistance programs.

Career Advice From the Pros at

August 05, 2011 Shawn Hulsizer
Looking for a job? Try the dynamic telecommunications industry. Telecom career opportunities are being created as tens of thousands of current workers retire. And you’ve seen job-hunting advice all over the web. But how would you like to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak? At, you’ll find advice and best practice examples straight from telecom human resources professionals., a signature initiative of NACTEL, the National Coalition for Telecommunications Education and Learning, is a new career website built to arm incumbent telecom workers, as well as general job seekers, with useful industry information, telecom-specific education options, and tools to match and connect them to telecom job opportunities. The site lists more than 300 education and training programs with telecom-specific technical, sales and service and operations support programs. Currently, there are more than 1,500 jobs listed on the site.

“Our members are continually searching for education that will prepare them for new directions in telecommunications,” said Jim Spellane, director, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. “The fact that VIVIDFuture houses education resources and lists open telecom jobs makes it a most valuable asset for our industry and for those seeking to enter or advance in this dynamic field.”

Now, let’s get to the advice. When it comes to job hunting, you have to get through four gateways to get hired. Click below to jump to and peruse advice that will help you navigate those gateways:

* Job Hunting Strategies
* Cover Letters and Resumes That Impress
* Interview Like a Pro
* Pass Entry Tests


CAEL Career and Education Advisor Certification

July 13, 2012 Dorothy Wax
The first class has “graduated” from CAEL’s Career and Education Advising Certification course with Indiana University.  Feedback was very positive and there were some suggestions to make the program stronger, which have now been implemented.  The course helps advisors, counselors, career coaches and HR professionals link and integrate information about careers and education more effectively into their work with adults. 
The six-module online course includes a lot of information and great resources on helping adults find a satisfying  career path in today’s economy and getting the education and training needed to make that happen.
The next class will start in the fall of 2012.  If you’re interested in learning more, contact me at or 215-731-7168.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Connect to a VA for Vets coach in a live virtual meeting space-Request a Coach V4V_ContentPageHTML

Request a Coach

Fill out the form below to request a coach. Based on your unique situation, a Veteran service representative will connect you to a coach who can address your needs.​ Please indicate whether you are requesting a career coach or a coach to assist you with deployment and
To request a coach by phone, please call 1-855-VA4VETS (1-855-824-8387).

Why Use A Coach?

Personalized, on-demand support―before, during and after deployment
VA for Vets coaches provide confidential, one-on-one guidance to help Military Service Members navigate the transition between their military and civilian roles. They are knowledgeable Veterans who can relate to the experiences of Military Service Members and direct them to the resources they need to successfully deploy and reintegrate.

Using a coach is completely voluntary. If you are a Military Service Member and decide to contact a coach, he or she will be your partner throughout the entire deployment process, helping you navigate your career transitions and professional development needs. Five days a week, 12 hours a day, a coach is available to support your success.

If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you may benefit from coaching services:
  • Are you preparing to mobilize or deploy?
  • Are you returning from deployment?
  • Do you have questions or want to learn more about your rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA)?
  • Do you need help resolving an issue in your current position at VA?
  • Do you need assistance navigating the VA for Vets website?
  • Are you looking for a new position at VA?

To get started, call 1-855-VA4VETS (1-855-824-8387) or complete the Request a Coach Form to have a coach assigned to you.

Connect to a VA for Vets coach in a live virtual meeting spaceVA for Vets provides access to a state-of-the-art virtual collaboration tool to help deployed Military Service Members stay connected to their VA workplace. Military Service Members can invite coaches, supervisors and HR professionals to join them in their personalized, virtual room to review and edit documents, work on whiteboards, take Web-based training and much more.
Benefits of virtual coachingVirtual collaboration provides a forum for engaging and productive conversations between Military Service Members and their coaches, enabling completion of work-related tasks. By creating a live, online interactive work environment, deployed Military Service Members can efficiently conduct professional and personal activities and work toward achieving better vocational outcomes using technology that is ideally suited to online collaboration.
The virtual workspace provides all the benefits of an in-person meeting, yet it allows you to be anywhere in the world, sharing one online space.
Personalize your experienceM ake your virtual experience more realistic by adding personal touches, such as:
  • Designing an avatar that looks like you
  • Creating a room featuring family photos and personal items
  • Showing off your hobbies and interests

Call 1-855-VA4VETS (1-855-824-8387) or complete the Request a Coach email form to begin working with a coach.