Donka Grateful to Offer COVID-Safe Training Options
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges and Donka is grateful that our donors recognize the needs of persons with disabilities. Our supporters and community have been so encouraging and have given us courage – to walk in the face of uncertainty.
In March, Donka closed the doors of our computer labs at the DuPage Care Center in Wheaton and IL workNet in Aurora due
to COVID-19 restrictions. The Donka board of directors and Donka staff swiftly made changes to serve our students differently. With donor support, Donka purchased laptops and assistive technology (AT) software and hardware to support our students’ needs.
As pandemic restrictions persist into 2021, Donka is grateful to have the technology, the staff, board of directors, and donors to continue to provide both 1:1 training and virtual AT webinars. Here are some details about our current programs:
Virtual and In-Person Training
Most students have been comfortable training virtually through Zoom – virtual meeting application – but for some virtual learning is difficult and even impossible. In June, when restrictions for Illinois were lightened, Donka started in-person training for students who require face-to-face interaction to be successful. Donka is leasing an office space at Northern Illinois University (NIU) in Naperville with a computer training station to provide training for selected students.
AT Webinars and Workshops
The NIU location also offers conference room space for Donka instructors to prepare for and conduct virtual webinars. Donka’s webinars can help therapists, counselors, teachers, and future teachers gain knowledge and understanding of how AT can empower their students and clients. The webinars are typically offered at no-cost – as Donka received a grant to help professionals learn about AT and apps to serve their clients more effectively during the pandemic.
As we move to 2021, Donka will continue to offer training options that are responsive to changing COVID-19 restrictions. We are hopeful we will be able to reopen our computer labs at some point and to increase student numbers and continue serving the DuPage Care Center’s residents.
Donka also plans to offer more webinars and videos in 2021 that can be accessed from Donka’s website. Follow Donka on Facebook (donkainc), LinkedIn (donka-incorporated) and Twitter (@donkainc) to keep up to date with new offerings.
This year has presented many technological challenges for the people in our community who are living with disabilities. We’re grateful to all of our donors for enabling Donka to offer custom train the trainer workshops for the community agencies who now depend on technology to work with their clients. Donka is also thankful for our instructors being able to adapt to the situation and learn to train using new technology!
For questions about Donka’s AT training, contact Samantha Moore, Program Manager, at smoore@ donkainc.org or 630-665-8169 x10. We are here to serve!
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400 N. County Farm Rd.
Wheaton, IL 60187
Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday – Closed
Sunday – Closed
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