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Cultivating Interviewers and Trainers



Building a Cadre of Local SIS Interviewers and Trainers

A SIS interviewer must be willing to listen to the respondents and gather feedback, rather than recording a perception of what they believe the person's needs are. A SIS trainer must be not only be an effective interviewer, but able to coach others to become effective interviewers.

Identifying Future SIS Interviewers

SIS Interviewers must be comfortable speaking to large and small groups. In addition, AAIDD strongly recommends considering the following attributes when evaluating candidates for SIS Interviewer roles:

  • IDD Experience. SIS interviewers are required to assess individuals with a wide range of needs and supports. Strong interviewers are familiar with the unique needs people with IDD.
  • Strengths Based Perspective. The SIS uses a strengths-based, rather than a deficit, approach to identifying support needs.
  • Group Facilitation Skills. SIS interviewers must be able to integrate information from a variety of perspectives and facilitate consensus building.
  • Leadership Skills.  The first group of interviewers in the jurisdiction will be leaders of the SIS message. SIS interviewers play an important role in conveying to a variety of stakeholders how SIS can contribute to the individuals’ success in the community.

Identifying Future SIS Trainers

AAIDD strongly recommends that instead of pre-selecting candidates to become SIS trainers, agencies work closely with AAIDD trainers to select individuals showing most promise during their training.

The following attributes are common to successful SIS Trainers:

  • Ability to deal with ambiguity. 
  • Willingness to serve as an ambassador the SIS implementation strategy, demonstrating a solid understanding of the SIS and a positive perspective of the process.
  • Consistently seeking ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness if the implementation strategy. 
  • Demonstrates a sense of humor and the ability to promote humor in training sessions.

Additional skills essential for a SIS Trainer:

  • Strong organizational skills 
  • Effective time management skills 
  • Practical knowledge of adult learning strategies
  • Strong public speaking and audience management skills 
  • Analytical skills to address difficult questions or participants 
  • Flexibility to modify presentation based on audience 
  • Ability to relate well to groups.
  • Ability to work well with people with various backgrounds 
  • Effective communication skills 
  • Willingness and eagerness to participate as an internal trainer 
  • Ability to effectively use audio-visual equipment 
  • Available to work when needed, including commitment to completing work within designated timeframes.  

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