Personal Skills & Technology – A Perfect Partnership to Assist Special Needs People in the Workforce

Science and technology continue to produce a wealth of creative assistive devices, specialized products and unique services that make work and life easier for all people, especially the challenged. As a result, a previously somewhat marginalized group of the workforce is now able to operate on an almost equal footing with the rest of the working population. Combine enhanced personal skills with the assistive devices and the combination is very powerful.

It is now possible for many disabled and challenged people to enter the workforce and do almost anything that a “normal” person does. There is a growing number of employees who have learning disabilities, reactions, syndromes, and other physical and mental challenges but their assistive devices allow them to operate at a high level despite their difficulties. Assistive technology allows them to put more time and energy into thinking and producing instead of just surviving.

Businesses and corporations often choose to have employees engage in staff development. However, learning must be selected carefully because so much of current knowledge, facts, methods and processes is outdated and obsolete. The best choice for staff development is personal skills training. This is especially true for those employees with physical and mental challenges.

The workforce can conceivably expand dramatically if a difficult question is posed, “How can special needs people be helped to better fit into the whole scheme of things?” There is a positive answer.

Skills are more valuable than ever in the struggle to get people to work more efficiently, rebuild and revamp our economies, and save the planet in general. Skills don’t get old and obsolete. Advanced technology and personal skills become perfect partners in helping special needs people contribute positively despite challenges.

For challenged and disabled people, emphasis should be on determining and strengthening their skill set. Assistive devices can then be used to help the skills grow.

Analytical skills, creativity and problem-solving are strongly empowering and are prized abilities in all areas of the workforce. Having a head full of facts and figures has become of lesser value. Knowing “how to” do things is more important. The above skills are not just for able people. They can be taught to anybody at any age and at almost any ability. The difference between being able or disabled is far less when assistive devices are employed.

Personal skills training produces competency and helps people become independent, self-directed learners. When processing skills are strengthened and applied to knowledge and facts, the result is better products and outcomes. Assistive technology enables and extends the expression of learned skills. It can greatly increase speed of acquisition, expression in various media forms, and ultimately the value of outcomes or products.

Educators are vital in discovering and nurturing physical and intellectual skill sets of young children. Special education students learn to use learned skills and technology to achieve many more goals and compete more effectively for their place in the upcoming “new” revamped world. With assistive devices, more can dream of becoming proud, full-fledged, viable members of the workforce. Assistive devices give the most severely challenged people increased mobility and more ways to communicate their ideas more effectively.

The following are some of the personal skills that every person – challenged or not – needs to ensure he/she can survive and thrive in the future. Technology can assist at all stages to ensure the learning is maximized.

Innovation Skills
How to: invent new products/services. Canada needs to continue to be a breeding ground for innovative and valuable new inventions and ideas. Anybody can be an inventor of assistive devices or other useful products or services!

Communication Skills
How to: speak/present professionally, write effectively, read/use body language. We truly do live in a global village and should be prepared to interface with others anywhere in the world. Properly selected assistive devices allow disabled and challenged workers to do the above.

Higher-Level Thinking Skills
How to: analyze, problem-solve, assess little ideas to find the hidden BIG ones, think in an enhanced way, think logically, use inductive/deductive thinking methods. These personal skills are not limited to any particular segment of society.

Self-Awareness Skills
“How to: increase levels of perception, relax, de-stress, self-motivate, re-energize, recognize success, keep up the spirits despite intense challenges and competition. All people need to know themselves better in order to be the best they can be. These personal skills can be learned by all people including many who are challenged and disabled.

Leadership Skills
How to: be a leader, develop teams and think tanks, achieve win-win outcomes, handle criticism, improve emotional maturity, determine levels of success. Disabilities and challenges do not have the limitations anymore. Assistive devices help many more people participate effectively in society in leadership roles.

The world is changing dramatically. A very positive aspect is that new technology and assistive devices enhance inclusiveness because they allow almost anybody to be more expressive and therefore more productive. The new Age of Creativity demands people be producers of new learning, not just consumers. Skills training and advanced assistive technology, create a great partnership that helps challenged and disabled people strive, survive and thrive.

Foreign Language Software – Use It And Other Tools When Learning A New Language

Learning a new language can sometimes be tough especially if are required to learn it because of school or work. Those who learn a new language on their own accord find the process much easier. So the first trick in learning a new language is having a positive attitude about it.

I always say tell people who are interested in learning a new language to always start by getting a good teacher or attending a language class. This is because having a good foundation is always important in learning anything.

However, if for some reason you are not able to get a language tutor or attend classes, there are still many tools you can use to learn a language.

Watch Foreign Movies

Watching foreign movies or soap operas are a great way to kick off learning a new language. I actually know someone who picked up Mandarin by just watching Mandarin soap operas with English subtitles while she worked on Singapore for two years. Although she can now speak Mandarin, she is unable to read or write it.

You should start with foreign movies because it will help you familiarize yourself with the new language. This might be a stretch but think of it as getting used to a new accent.

In addition, watching movies is fun and when you do something that is fun, it does not seem like a chore. And this helps the learning process greatly.

Foreign Language Software

The next tool you should get is good foreign language software. The latest foreign language software is quite advanced. There are even some that are utilize the cloud or internet databases to recognize speech.

Although not yet perfect, this feature can help you improve your language skills to a certain extent. When you do not have a human teacher, this could be the next best thing.

Most foreign language software also come with fun and interactive games which not only help you speak, but also read and write in a new language.

Play Language Learning Games

It is more fun learning in a group and a great way to get people to participate in a group is by playing games. There are so many types of language games available. There are board games, card games and, of course, the foreign language software based games as mentioned earlier.

These games address basic everyday words and phrases you would probably use in your daily life. They would also help build you vocabulary and verb conjugation over time.

Read Foreign Books

Once you have got the basics covered, try reading elementary foreign books. Elementary foreign books are easily available on the internet and are quite affordable.

You can move on from elementary curriculum to coffee table foreign books once your reading improves. Be sure to have a dictionary near you as you are bound to come across new words.

Advance Your Teaching Career With An Online Master Degree in Education

The demand for qualified educators has increased rapidly and this trend is not likely to change anytime in the near future. If you choose teaching as your career, you are in the right path because education is an extremely rewarding field with a 2 digits projection growth toward year 2012. Whether you are interested to be a college professor, a high school teacher, a special education instructor or a corporate trainer, you are sure to find a career with a master degree in education.

If you have involved in teaching field for years and you are hoping to advance your career in the education leadership, an advanced degree is a necessity. In fact, many school districts have requested their educational staffs to take graduate-level courses in order to refine and improve their instructional strategies. Hence, you should upgrade your degree to a master degree level if you want to move your career into a higher level.

Many online and traditional universities are offering online master degrees in education that enable you to earn a master education degree from your comfort home while maintaining your current living style. Getting an online master degree in education is convenient and flexible, just one thing to be aware of: Diploma Mills. You need to be very careful in searching and selecting your online master education degree program, make sure you choose the online master degree in education from a prestige and reputable online university to ensure the master degree can helps you to advance your teaching career to next level.

Here are a few online universities that are famous in providing online master education degrees and their degrees are widely accepted in the job market:

American InterContinental University Online (AIU)


AIU online provides master of education degree with concentration in Leadership of Educational Organizations. If you are interested to advance your teaching career to a management position, master of education degree in leadership prepares you with the necessary skills and knowledge for the position.

Western Governors University (WGU)

If you are planning to advance your teaching career that focus on K6 to grade 12, then one of WGU online master of education degrees can be your option. WGU offers various master degrees in education and teaching fields that focus on the education, assessment and evaluation for students in K6 to grade 12.

Grand Canyon University Online (GCU)

Master of Education degrees from GCU can help you to advance your teaching career if you want to make a success career in elementary education. GCU does offer master degree in Curriculum and Instruction that specialized in Reading and Education Technology, so if you need the skills and knowledge in these areas, these degrees may be your option.

Besides the above online universities that offer online master education degrees, there are still many online master education programs available for your selection. Many online master education degrees carry the same title but their courses offered in each program might be different; hence, it is your responsibility to review and ensure the courses of the degree are meeting your teaching career goal.

In Summary

Educational field is a booming sector with a good projection increment in the job demands. You are in the right path if you choose to involve in teaching career, but you must get ready yourself to face the boom, and an online master education degree can equip you to face the challenge in your teaching career and help you to advance your teaching career to a higher level.