Reva & David Logan Foundation Funds Disability Awareness Trainings

The Disability Awareness Players had another record-breaking year in Fiscal Year 2017!

Overall 40+ Disability Awareness Trainings were provided to over 2,600 people from July 2016 to June 2017. A recent grant from the Reva & David Logan Foundation was instrumental in making this success possible.

The Foundation’s partnership with the Disability Awareness Training program began in 2015, as part of the ADA25 Chicago initiative, a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Over the past two years, the Foundation’s grants have made it possible to bring trainings to new organizations that would not otherwise have been able to afford them.

In FY2017, the Disability Awareness Players trained 449 individuals at schools, museums, theaters and cultural institutions with the support of the Reva & David Logan Foundation. The following organizations were trained with funding from the Foundation:

  •           Lincoln Elementary School, Highland Park
  • Lookingglass Theatre Company, Chicago
  • The Field Museum, Chicago
  • The Morton Arboretum, Lisle
  • The Field Museum (2nd training for a different audience), Chicago
  • The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
  • The Goodman Theatre, Chicago
  • Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Chicago
  • The Lyric Opera, Chicago

After each training, audiences completed an evaluation form.  A few highlights of the audience evaluations are:

  •         There was a 65% increase in knowledge of person-first language.
  •         There was a 67% increase in understanding of what it means to be “508 compatible.”
  •         There was a 26% increase in understanding of the implications of using outdated language such as “handicapped” and “confined.”
  •         Overall, 94% of audience members stated that they will use person-first language in their workplace.
  •         Overall, 78% of audience members stated that they will use the tips from the 10-Tips Poster in their workplace.
  •          99% of audience members stated that they feel more disability aware as a result of the Training!
  •          98% of audience members would recommend this workshop!

We were pleased to receive glowing feedback from many of the individuals who participated in the trainings:

“I think these are essential skills and knowledge for creating an open and accepting workplace and positive experience for all visitors.”

“I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about working with and serving people with disabilities. The role-play exercises were the most helpful! Thank you for your honesty and persistence to train all of our employees.”

“This takes away some of the concerns or questions employees may have about interacting with patrons who have disabilities. I love that this gave a first-person perspective.”

The data and feedback above supports the effectiveness of Disability Awareness Trainings for audiences. Another important group of people who benefit from the trainings are the Disability Awareness Players themselves. Each training provides paid work (via a stipend) for participating Players, as they build their skills in advocacy, communications, and technology.

Based on our experience of providing these trainings, we learned that there is still a great need for disability awareness education for all ages. One surprise and challenge that we did not anticipate was the enormous demand for grant-funded trainings. We quickly filled the 10 available slots, with an additional 26 organizations asking for trainings.  Wonderfully, the Foundation met the demand with funding for an additional 10 trainings for 2017/18.

We thank the Reva & David Logan Foundation for their generous support that made it possible to bring Disability Awareness Trainings to new audiences across the Chicagoland area. 

Please click here to find out more about Disability Awareness Training and the Disability Awareness Players.