Building Bridges

Building Bridges for Adults with a Developmental Disability, Final Report (2000)

Prepared by:
Glenn Yates for the Tri-County Literacy Network

Edited by:
Marianne Simpson, Walt Stechyshyn and the Project Reference Group

This pilot project brought together representatives from both literacy and developmental disabilities fields to develop a common understanding of how best to join forces to improve literacy services for people with developmental disabilities. Phase one was used to exchange information about positive developments in each other’s fields. In addition, barriers, gaps and overlaps between the two service sectors were identified. In phase two, the focus was upon developing a shared base of knowledge regarding the preparation and supports needed to promote successful participation by people with developmental disabilities in literacy programs.

To that end, a workshop based on the Literacy Preparation Project for Adults with Developmental Disabilities was offered to front-line workers. During the final stage of the project, participants explored ways of building mutually beneficial partnerships to promote effective and efficient services to the people served by both groups while enhancing literacy. Since adults with developmental disabilities often receive support from a multitude of agencies and people, it is crucial that everyone knows what everyone else is doing and that they work with and not against one another. It is strongly recommended that a holistic approach and shared communication be used to ensure consistency and responsibility when supporting individuals to participate in the life of their respective communities.

The goal of promoting literacy learning for people with developmental disabilities cannot occur in isolation. The project points to the need for ongoing involvement, input and commitment from a variety of practitioners, if this goal is to be realized.

Additional copies of the report can be downloaded here.

Final Report

For further information on this project, please contact the Tri-County Literacy Network.