From course participants:

“As a newcomer to formal work with people with disabilities, ShelterGuides is giving me the practical and pertinent information and training to become a successful, professional Respite Care giver. The numerous case-studies of people in the text were true to life and posed real challenges for us students. I highly recommend ShelterGuides!”
~ Joe W.

“I feel like when I first started the ShelterGuides course I was like a fuzzy caterpillar, during the course I went into a cocoon learning new knowledge and insights and at the end I felt like a beautiful butterfly spreading my wings.”
~ Janice Irvine

“Thanks for a great course! I loved the challenging assignments and how each was laid out weekly. The feedback was great and I look forward to using what I learned at ShelterGuides.”
~Melanie Hack

Feedback on the Pilot:
The SG course was a fantastic journey with a huge amount of learning done in a very simple [way,] yet well-structured in terms of learning outcomes for an online format (which included 3 face-to-face days).  Having already done an undergraduate degree outside this field, I found that my level of learning from this course had a greater impact and “stick-with-it in my brain” and functional objectives.  Students who were “green” were able to learn a lot of key concepts, language and core material to become a Respite Worker or HomeShare Provider, though, I also felt that the more “mature” contributors had a fairly profound learning curve as well as it likely cemented their knowledge base and put words to the work they had been doing for years and filled in the gaps.
Also included in the overall learning that was particularly telling, was the ability of the instructors to create a ‘connect’ and sense of team early on which added to the amount of learning done through the sharing of personal stories, open dialogue and learnings.
I highly recommend this course to anyone thinking they would like to get in to this line of work and feel that this course should be a mandatory requirement prior to taking this field on so that the reality of the work is displayed in a correct fashion, and that the safety and well-being of people being supported is at the forefront of the service.  I look forward to a time, in the not too distant future, that this course will have additional components and provide even more credibility and professional recognition to a highly deserved and necessary field of work.  I commend all of you for taking this on as a first step for “being the change you wish to see”.   Lovely demonstration.
Thank you for including me and I am glad I was part of the Pilot Project.
Yours in Health, Kathryn Kimmerly.
February 2012:

I was invited to join the Shelter Guides pilot project and am so thankful for the experience! I found that the course informative and interesting. The chapter format enabled learning and created a smooth flow of information.  The program is about a new way of thinking and embraces a new way of learning.  It teaches by integrating a number of media tools. Online is integrated with classroom hands on learning, in person discussion is merged with forum communication. We are given the opportunity to meet and network with other workers in our field that live in our area.  I found this course to be incredibly refreshing it reawoke the open thinking that all in our field of work should have. There is a wealth of information for those new to the field and a refreshing wake up for those familiar with care and support.  I have found the knowledge I learned in this program to be transferable to children in childcare, children in school as well as in adult care and support.  The online concept is great and the format has made learning while working a comfortable enjoyable experience.  This entire experience was inspirational and although I am thrilled to have completed the Shelter Guides program I am a bit sad that its over!

Shauna Hegan