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Everyone can communicate and everyone is an individual in the way they communicate. There are hundreds of definitions of what communication is and how it is done. Perhaps the simplest way of thinking about communication is that it is the passing on of information from one person to another using any means possible.You may be surprised to know that we get most of our information across through our body language. The way people communicate is made up of:

  • Body language = 55%
  • Tone of voice = 38%
  • Words = 7%

At NECW we use a number of different ways in which to communicate and to teach people how to do things. We use:

  • Makaton which is a language programme that uses signs and symbols to help people to communicate. It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken order. In the UK, the signs used in Makaton are from British Sign Language (BSL), which is the language of the deaf community in Britain.
  • British Sign Language - One of our members of staff is fully trained in using The British Sign Language
  • Training in Systematic Instruction (TSI) (doing things in a set way – keeping instruction simple) TSI is a teaching approach we use that regards everyone, no matter their disability, having the right to learn skills. TSI argues that learning will happen when a person is motivated to learn and if the opportunity to do so is carefully managed in a planned and systematic fashion. TSI has an emphasis on errorless learning and encourages decision- making by people with a learning disability enabling them to learn complex tasks.
  • We observe body language :
  • We Use pictures to help people’s understanding of situations and for training e.g. health and safety
  • We provide live demonstrations on how to do

Training For People Attending The Workshop


A combination of words and pictures are used to assist those who also require a visual aid to help them understand. This is carried out on a 1-1 basis. e.g., The importance of keeping floor areas free of tripping hazards, putting things back in the proper place etc.


This is an area we are very strict on at the moment due to Covid and do have “graphics” for individuals to follow in both bathrooms, refresher training is carried out on a weekly basis by staff observing the client washing their hands.

Healthy Eating

Healthy eating is something we encourage at the workshop. Some of our clients are unable to choose what goes in to their packed lunch boxes and rely on others within their home setting to make healthy choices for them. Those who can choose can be encouraged to change their diet to include healthy options. Training is given to enable them to know what is “good food” and what is “unhealthy food”, again this is done using visual and verbal communication.



Reading And Writing

Staff have observed that a number of our clients don’t fully know the alphabet or are unable to read small simple words and feel they have the ability to learn basic skills such as the alphabet. This is done by spending 1-1 time using pictures / letters and online aids.


Training on good timekeeping and attendance and “why” this is important at work.


Certificates are achieved and clients have their own individual portfolios to show what they have achieved. This is beneficial for the people who will possibly move on to work out with the workshop to show to employers.

Working As Part Of A Team

Individuals are paired up with different work buddies during the course of the day, this encourages social interaction with different people and enables them to work as part of a team by communicating with each other and working in harmony with each other.


We encourage our clients to help each other out when they can when carrying out a task. We have team members who have attended for some time who are able to step in and help new attendees if they are unsure how a task is done. This is a great boost for their self confidence and self esteem and a good role model for our new attendees to follow.


At the workshop everyone is taught to respect others, our clients are taught that everyone is different and have different likes and dislikes. People do things at different paces and in different ways and we must never judge someone because they do things differently.


NECW ensures that the utmost care is taken with regards the quality of products which are packaged at The Workshop. They check weight, size, type and quality of product, numbers of products per package and the quality of the packaging of the product before being sold.



Everything that can be trained has a method. This is simply a description of how you do the task from beginning to end. Of course, all hazards are identified and the controls to the hazards are included in the description of the method, so it is a safe working method.

When working through the method you need to make a note of the places that you would expect to give information to a learner. This could be when something new is going to happen or at a point where something has to be noticed.

The method is cut into chunks at these places, and these are known as content steps. Adding together all the content steps equals the method.

Training can now begin. Usually, the trainer shows the whole job to the learner and is ready to give information at the beginning of each content step to keep the job going from beginning to end. The learner experiences success.

Some usual problems

The learner needs more information in the middle of a content step. This means the content step has too much information in for the learner. The solution is to split the content step at the place the additional information has to be given.

The learner cannot chain all the steps together and always needs prompting at the beginning of every step. You can get over this by having the learner do the first step and the trainer does the rest. After the Learner doesn’t need prompting, the trainer can expect the learner to do the first two. And so it goes until all steps are chained together. Fiddly bits might need to be practiced over and over until the step has been learned and then put back into the job. Much as a musician might practise a bar over and over until they get it right.

Proving learning

Learning is taking place if the trainer is giving less information at each step, until no information is required. The strongest prompt is usually verbal, and then the trainer can move on to modelling, which is where the trainer mimes the action, then gestures, and then just the merest expression. These prompts can be recorded and so learning can be mapped even before the trainee is independent.

Once the trainee needs no prompts whatsoever, then we can assume they have learned all they need to.

-This is the scantest description of the process, but the full process can be gained from ‘Keys to the Workplace’ by M Callahan and Bradley Garner at your local reference Library.