This blog is aimed primarily at Management 3.0 facilitators, however it’s valuable and has great content and advice for anyone who works as a facilitator and gives workshops of any sort.
In July, we had an opportunity to hold a Management 3.0 workshop for the visually impaired. This happened after an encounter with Cleia Gaudino, who has been doing excellent work with visually impaired people. The idea was so that they don’t not only perform operational tasks but can pursue other types of careers, including management.
When Cleia contacted us about the opportunity for this initiative we were very excited but at the same time afraid because it’s an area we’re not familiar with. We had many doubts such as, where could we print the material in braille? And adapting slides and Kudo Cards. But even with these doubts we accepted the challenge.
What we learned was very different than what we imagined. Most visually impaired people don’t know how to read in braille and we didn’t realize that. Visually impaired people in companies need audible warnings and people that can help them perform their tasks. So that’s what we did.
Cleia participated in the workshop with an “angel” and her guide dog. We learned that a guide dog with a collar can’t be touched because it will lose focus. But without its guide collar, the dog can play with you.
The first Management 3.0 workshop with Cleia gave us the courage to move ahead. In July we conducted our first class exclusively for visually impaired participants and their angels. We created a wonderful volunteer group, which we called, the League of Inclusion. But the challenge was greater. It explained questions of visual slides, angels assisting people in the workshop and this time we created some visuals like Martie, the Celebration Grid and the Competencies Matrix using symbols instead of colors. We made the materials available before the workshop so they could work with their laptops using a tool to facilitate and read slides for the visually impaired.
We explained the pictures from the slides not only with words but through emotions so that they’d have an enhanced experience. For those familiar with Management 3.0 practices they know that it’s not just about the slides but the workshops are very provocative.
One of the challenges which we encountered on the first day was going out for lunch. Places usually have access for visually impaired people but not many at once so we had to wait a while, which caused a delay. We learned from this and the next day we chose to have the lunch in the venue.
The other challenge was the quantity of guide dogs at the same time in the same place. Where we did it was a good space with a garden for the dogs to do their business and walk.
This one of the things we included in our celebration grid. If the event were in a conventional building we would have had with the badge and every entrance and exit with the guide dog.
In the beginning of the workshop we explained that we had no idea how to teach visually impaired people but if something wasn’t right, material and concepts etc… people could interrupt us and explain better. This was very important in creating psychological safety with us and them. All day long after each module we asked for feedback. The idea was to always be improving!
During the second day of the workshop we had to record a video using the big value list. Here, our limiting beliefs almost got the best of us.
If visually impaired people watch movies, why not to create them too? We recorded the movies and they were very funny.
The end of the workshop was exciting, because we learned together and there were good vibes all around. We were grateful because this challenge helped others to be better and improve their lives and happiness at work.
I believe in the near future that we’ll see a visually impaired person/people facilitating Management 3.0 workshops because our physical limitations shouldn’t define us.
How can we change the world?
Change yourself then help others to change too! I give gratitude to Elaine Valverde, Edson Lima, Ronaldo Guedes, Ivan Ferraz, Joyce and every member of League of Inclusion! We are amazing together!
Key tips for how to teach workshops for the visually impaired
- Always make workshop materials such as slides and videos available at least a week in advance so that they can adapt to a tool.
- Enable notebook use.
- Stay VERY connected to site accessibility
- Always carry an angel to assist the visually impaired person during the tasks
- Explain pictures and images from the slides. Remember they can’t see them
- Replace colors with geometric figures, such as the competence Matrix.
- Treat them like normal people. They can understand and work in unadopted environments. What we need most often is empathy.
- Prepare for some slightly longer breaks. At the coffee break, they usually take the guide dogs outside to play
- Never play with the dog while wearing their collar guide
- Make sure that restaurants and cafes are adaptable to welcome dog guides and visually impaired people
- If the offset is complex, opt for delivery in the venue
Photo credit: League of Inclusion