DeafBlind Ontario Services’ partnership with Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, is a win-win for both students and the organization.
Students in the Gerontology Interprofessional Practice (GIP) Program and the Research and Evaluation Programs get hands-on experience, while helping DeafBlind Ontario Services ensure its programs remain relevant and provide the best experiences to the people it serves.
The Gerontology Interprofessional Practice Program provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to care for aging adults by augmenting their previous professional training.
This graduate certificate program “offers them the opportunity to use an innovative approach that draws on different professional backgrounds, or interprofessional practices,” said Prof. Susan Clement.
DeafBlind Ontario Services provides opportunities for students to work on research projects that gathers evidence to support the needs of individuals with deafblindness and enhance the organization’s supports and services.
The first project entitled Dual Sensory Loss – Unique Disability – an inter-organizational approach – Health Care Worker perspective on communication with GIP Program students in 2019 provided information and training about dual sensory loss to McCormick Homes, a long-term care home, in London, Ontario. The second project entitled “Developing a Dementia Education Toolkit for Intervenors” in 2020 tasked students with the research question: “What are the best practises for educating intervenors on recognizing signs of dementia in individuals living with dual sensory loss/deafblindness”.
To support their professional development, intervenors from DeafBlind Ontario Services took part in an Alzheimer Society virtual reality simulation workshop; watched an educational video module; and were provided a resource document for future reference.
DeafBlind Ontario Services will use these resources during onboarding and ongoing training of intervenors.
Between January and April 2020, students evaluated DeafBlind Ontario Services’ On Call System for front line employees/ intervenors who work outside of regular working hours with results captured in their final report: The Effectiveness of DeafBlind Ontario Service’s On-Call System. Students reviewed existing research and best practices about on-call systems through a literature review and provided recommendations for enhancing effectiveness of the program.
“This collaboration benefits both the college and the not-for-profit organization,” said Dr. Scott Veenvliet, the faculty lead for the program. “It offers students an opportunity to work on impactful projects and apply research to real-life situations/examples.”