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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Instructors and teachers of persons with disabilities(4215)

Instructors and teachers of persons with disabilities teach children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities communication techniques, such as Braille or sign language, and rehabilitation skills to increase independence and mobility. They are employed in rehabilitation centres, specialized educational institutes and throughout the elementary and secondary school system.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read product brochures, newsletters and program descriptions. For example, they may read descriptions of assistive devices such as electronic note takers to learn more about features that may be useful to clients. They may read newsletters and other resource materials published by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Clubhouse Societies and the Autism Society of Canada to learn about their clients' disabilities and become familiar with programs and services offered. (2)
  • Read short e-mail and memos. For example, they read e-mail from co-workers in which they describe services accessed by clients in previous programs and from business owners who provide details of clients' successes and challenges in work experience placements. They also read memos from their supervisors outlining changes to programs and reporting requirements. (2)
  • Read text entries in referral and intake forms and physicians' reports. They read about clients' medical conditions, family backgrounds and support systems when creating and revising clients' learning plans. (3)
  • May read manuals. For example, they may read curriculum and instruction manuals to understand learning outcomes, instructional activities and assessment scales. (3)
  • May read guidelines and standards. For example, they may read guidelines for professional practice outlined by the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. They may read international standards defining the rehabilitation model of the International Centre for Clubhouse Development. (4)
  • May read articles in peer-reviewed journals. For example they may read the Journal of Visual Impairment to learn of new developments, innovative practices, trends and products. They may read Critical Reviews in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine to understand topics such as new developments in motor skills retraining and other rehabilitative techniques. (5)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Locate data in lists and tables. For example, they scan contact lists of staff and clients to locate addresses and telephone numbers. They scan listings of upcoming workshops and conferences and tables of contents in curriculum resources, equipment manuals and journals to locate data on specific topics. They scan work schedules to verify their assignments and commitments. (2)
  • Locate data in entry forms. For example, they review consent forms to ensure they have been completed accurately and signed. Job training instructors review employer satisfaction surveys. (2)
  • Enter data into forms and mark checklists. For example, rehabilitation instructors record the types of exercises, size of weights and number of repetitions completed by clients during balance and coordination assessments. They complete checklists indicating the level of assistance clients require to complete daily living, personal care, communication and leisure tasks. Instructors of hearing impaired individuals complete sign language checklists and provide examples to track clients' progress. Instructors of blind and visually impaired individuals complete Canadian National Institute for the Blind forms requesting the loan and purchase of equipment. (2)
  • Complete referral forms and progress reports. For example, instructors of individuals with developmental and physical disabilities may complete referral forms to request additional support for their clients. They complete client identification fields, outline the reasons for their requests, interventions to date and desired outcomes of their referrals. They may also complete progress reports indicating clients' achievements for various curriculum activities. They rate clients' levels of progress and add supporting comments outlining strengths and weaknesses. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write reminder notes. For example, during interactions with clients, they write short notes about clients' behaviours to enter into case files. (1)
  • Write e-mail to co-workers and colleagues. For example, they may write to colleagues to seek advice on instructional techniques and strategies to use with clients. (2)
  • May write instructions for clients to follow. For example, instructors of individuals with developmental disabilities write instructions for performing tasks such as using washing machines and microwave ovens. (2)
  • May write letters to clients, co-workers and colleagues. For example, they may write letters to service and benefit providers to request assistance for their clients and justify the need for special services and consideration. (3)
  • May write instructional plans for clients. They write goal statements, descriptions of activities and assessment methods. (3)
  • Write short reports. For example, instructors of visually impaired individuals write orientation and mobility reports which outline their observations and conclusions about clients' achievements. Job training instructors may write incident reports, in which they describe clients' injuries and behaviours, explain how the injuries occurred and record details of actions taken. Instructors of developmentally disabled individuals write narrative progress reports several times each year for each of their clients. They outline their goals and objectives for the reporting period, the clients' strengths, weaknesses and factors affecting their performances. (3)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Money Math
  • May handle cash. For example, they may collect money from clients and make change. They may purchase supplies using cash and credit cards. (1)
  • May calculate amounts for expense claims. For example, instructors of visually impaired individuals and job coaches calculate expense claim amounts for travel in personal vehicles using per kilometre rates. They add amounts for public transportation, parking, supplies and incidentals. (2)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • May monitor small budgets and record expenditures against categories. For example, job coaches monitor purchases of supplies, travel and assistive devices. (1)
  • Calculate expected totals and identify shortages and overages in petty cash accounts. For example, instructors of individuals with developmental disabilities may create cash summaries of book orders and field trip fees. (1)
  • May draw up schedules of instructional program. For example, instructors of individuals with physical and developmental disabilities create annual, monthly, and weekly schedules to guide their use of instructional time. They may have to adjust schedules to incorporate extra instructional time for clients who are experiencing difficulty. (3)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • May use common household measuring tools when teaching skills for daily living. (1)
Data Analysis Math
  • May compare monthly contact hours to standards to determine if they meet minimum requirements. (1)
  • May collect and analyze assessment data such as test marks and ratings. For example, instructors of individuals with developmental disabilities record marks for each completed assignment and then total and average them to report clients' progress. (2)
  • May calculate and analyze operational statistics. For example, instructors of visually impaired individuals calculate daily and monthly averages of individual sessions conducted, service days taken and clients referred. Instructors monitor changes in numbers of client contact hours devoted to assessment, instruction, coaching, counselling and job placement activities. (3)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate times for learning and rehabilitation programs. For example, instructors estimate times required to complete various program components and lengths of time clients will need to be enrolled in programs to reach specified goals. (2)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Discuss behaviours and learning plans with clients and their families. For example, they conduct intake interviews with clients and their parents or guardians. They discuss learning goals and activities with clients throughout their programs. Instructors of visually impaired lead family discussions on social etiquette, problem solving techniques and ways of supporting visually impaired individuals. (2)
  • Discuss clients, learning programs and instructional methods with colleagues, co-workers and supervisors. For example, they may discuss clients' difficulties with colleagues and seek their advice on instructional techniques, lesson plans and resource materials. They may compare perspectives on clients' behavioural patterns with co-workers and suggest adaptive teaching strategies and methods for managing clients' behaviours. (2)
  • Advocate for clients and educational programs in their communities. For example, job-training instructors ask employers to find work placements for their clients and discuss their progress after they have been hired. They promote employment integration programs and negotiate placements with business owners and community groups. (2)
  • Comfort and counsel clients. For example, instructors of visually impaired clients acknowledge their emotions and listen to their concerns. They use counselling techniques to help clients who are experiencing loss of sight deal with emotions and move toward greater independence. (3)
  • Instruct clients individually and in small groups. For example, job-training instructors may explain and model job tasks, telephone protocols and interview skills for clients. Instructors of visually impaired individuals instruct clients in the proper use of canes and use vivid descriptions of sounds, sights and smells when teaching them how to navigate various routes. Instructors of individuals with developmental disabilities explain classroom rules, consequences of breaking the rules and the effects that disruptive behaviour can have on other clients. (3)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • Are unable to provide the services clients need. For example, instructors of developmentally and physically disabled individuals are unable to offer services such as one-on-one guided reading when volunteers are not available. They reschedule activities and seek more volunteers. Job coaches who are unable to find suitable placements for their clients review their needs, brainstorm other placement opportunities with colleagues and suggest clients consider other occupations. (2)
  • Find that teaching strategies and interventions are not effective. They work with their clients to determine causes for lack of response, discuss alternate strategies with colleagues and co-workers and adjust their instructional approaches. (3)
Decision Making
  • Choose instructional approaches and methods. They consider clients' needs and their own experiences with various instructional approaches. (2)
Critical Thinking
  • May assess the suitability of job placements for their clients. For example, job coaches consider the needs and capabilities of their clients, the physical work environment, employers' expectations and the availability of on-site support for them. (2)
  • Assess clients' progress in remedial education and rehabilitation programs. For example, instructors of individuals with physical and developmental disabilities consider their clients' levels of effort, attentiveness, behaviours and attitudes. They assess their abilities to demonstrate skill acquisition with both accuracy and confidence before promoting them to higher program levels. (2)
Job Task Planning and Organizing

Own Job Planning and Organizing

Instructors and teachers of persons with disabilities plan and organize their daily activities in response to clients' needs. They generally work one-on-one with clients and there are few requirements to integrate their work with that of co-workers and colleagues. Instructors of individuals with physical and developmental disabilities sequence their tasks within the constraints of provincial curricula. (2)

Planning and Organizing for Others

Instructors of individuals with physical and developmental disabilities may assign daily tasks and responsibilities for supervision of clients to teaching assistants and volunteers. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember clients' names, interests and behavioural characteristics.
Finding Information
  • Gather information on clients' disabilities by reviewing their history files, speaking to clients and their family members, consulting co-workers and colleagues and searching Internet sites applicable to particular disabilities. (3)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • Use word processing. For example, they write letters and progress reports and create consent forms, contact lists, job placement schedules and other learning support documents. (2)
  • Use graphic software. For example, they may use presentation software such as PowerPoint to create slide presentations for use with community groups, clients and their families. (2)
  • Use databases. For example, they may enter and retrieve data using their organizations' case management and student information databases. (2)
  • Use spreadsheets. For example, they create and format spreadsheets for contact lists, program tracking sheets and petty cash summaries. (2)
  • Use communications software. For example, they use e-mail to exchange messages and attachments with co-workers, colleagues, supervisors and clients. They may use other features of e-mail programs such as appointment calendars. (2)
  • Use the Internet. For example, they use search engines to find information on products and services and to research various topics. They visit and bookmark web sites related to their fields of practice. (2)
  • May use other computer and software applications. For example, instructors of individuals with visual impairment use Duxbury software to translate text to Braille. (2)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Instructors and teachers of persons with disabilities generally work independently to plan for and manage their caseloads. Instructors of individuals with physical and developmental disabilities coordinate job tasks with teaching assistants. (1)

Continuous Learning

Instructors and teachers of persons with disabilities set their own learning goals. Those working in instructional settings such as school districts may be required to prepare and submit annual learning plans which may be discussed with their principals. They learn through interactions with co-workers and colleagues, by attending provincial and national conferences in their field of specialty and by reading journals and newsletters published by their provincial and national associations. (3)

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