Q&A on NCDB Technical Work Groups (TWGs)
Posted on February 17, 20142 Comments 0 Likes Like this post
Jay Gense NCDB Project Director
In its recently funded proposal, NCDB identified a number of Technical Work Groups (TWG) as one mechanism by which it will actively engage the community in our work. The questions and answers below offer some details.
WHAT’S A TWG?
A TWG (pronounced “twig”) is a group of people with common interests working together on specific initiatives or activities. Individual TWGs will feel a bit like a hybrid between an advisory council and a topic-specific task force or working group.
WHY ARE TWG’s BEING ESTABLISHED?
The newly funded State and Multi-State Deaf-Blind Projects, and NCDB (together, known as the National Deaf-Blind TA Network) are charged by OSEP to improve our collective integration of efforts and alignment of services across the network of projects. Such integration and alignment will help to expand and enhance access to needed information and resources, increase consistency and access to high-quality TA, and reduce duplication of effort across states and the national center. TWGs will be one mechanism NCDB will use to assist with this integration and alignment. Because TWGs will include individuals representing broad perspectives in our collective product development activities, they will be able to provide guidance and advice, and offer perspectives about approaches and strategies that support an improved alignment of effort across projects and other systems serving children who are deaf-blind.
WHAT’S THE ROLE OF A TWG?
TWGs may serve one or more functions dependent upon the activity(ies) in which they are engaged. Example of these functions include, although aren’t limited to:
- Facilitating strategic planning for the Deaf-Blind Project Network
- Reviewing, advising and providing feedback on practice and policy
- Product development
- Identifying and implementing collaborative activities
WHO WILL BE ON A TWG? HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL BE INVOLVED?
TWGs will vary in size and representation based on their respective focus areas, but will include representation from State and Multi-State Deaf-Blind Projects, parents and parent organizations, service providers, administrators, and consumers who are deaf-blind. It is anticipated that TWGs will range in size from 6 -12 individuals.
HOW OFTEN WILL TWGS MEET?
The frequency of TWG meetings will depend on the current work being addressed by the respective TWGs, but it’s likely that TWGs will meet 4-6 times annually.
HOW WILL TWGS MEET?
Typically, TWG meetings will be held virtually, using Adobe Connect video-conferencing. Few, if any, meetings involving travel are anticipated.
WHAT’S THE BENEFIT OF SERVING ON A TWG?
TWGs will be used to help increase engagement of all stakeholders and to assist NCDB to identify and prioritize tools, products, training, professional development, and technical assistance activities. Individuals serving on a TWG will help shape the direction and focus of NCDB’s work, all of which brings focus to improving the national infrastructure for delivering technical assistance. Serving on a TWG offers the opportunity to share expertise and perspective, build relationships, and to investigate the questions and challenges of building lasting supports for the future.
WHEN ARE THE FIRST TWG’s STARTING?
We will begin by establishing a TWG by the end of February 2014 in the following three areas:
- Intervener Services
- Network Engagement (focus on identifying strategies to improve collaboration across the deaf-blind project network)
- Family Engagement
We will use these three TWGs to help establish process and protocol for additional TWGs to be established in the future.
We invite you to “stay tuned” for further information as we move forward with establishing TWGs in the coming weeks!