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A special invite from Class of 2020-21 Inductee, Sheldon Kennedy, inviting you to help celebrate with him as he receives the Order of Sport Award on Sunday October 3rd!
Former NHL player, Sheldon Kennedy, took his personal experience, and used it to advocate for youth and profoundly changed the culture of sport across Canada, ensuring child safety remains a shared priority for future generations of parents, coaches, and administrators.
Make sure to tune in to the Order of Sport Awards presented by @everestcurling Sunday October 3rd to watch Sheldon Kennedy receive the Order of Sport, Canada’s highest sporting honour! #OrderofSport65
Get your FREE ticket here : https://orderofsport.ca/tickets/
Across all levels of youth-serving organizations, activity leaders, teachers, and other adults in youth-serving roles have the responsibility to report suspected or disclosed incidents of maltreatment. Below we explore guidelines and responsibilities for reporting abuse, neglect, and other forms of maltreatment, using information adapted from our Respect in School and Respect in Sport programs.
Responsibilities of Activity Leaders
Activity leaders who hear or suspect abuse or neglect have the responsibility to report when:
Guidelines for disclosures and reporting include:
The Organization’s Responsibility
When a young person has disclosed abuse or neglect, or you suspect maltreatment, the organization must:
Fairholm, J., (2003) Hearing the Hurt, Changing the Future, 2nd Edition – Preventing Child/Youth Maltreatment, Canadian Red Cross
As youth leaders, it can be challenging to know what to do or how to react when a young person discloses to you that they have experienced abuse, maltreatment, or inappropriate conduct. The steps below can help guide activity leaders in addressing and supporting disclosures from children and youth.
The information above has been adapted from the following resources from the Respect in Sport for Activity Leaders program:
More information about our programs can be found through the links below:
As youth leaders, parents, and educators, it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of maltreatment in children and youth. Maltreatment comes in many forms, including verbal, physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, as well as neglect. Below we explore the unique and often overlapping signs and symptoms of the various forms of maltreatment.
Signs of verbal abuse in children and youth may include:
Signs of physical abuse in children and youth may include:
Signs of sexual abuse in children and youth may include:
Signs of neglect in children and youth may include:
Emotional abuse underlies all forms of abuse and neglect. Signs of emotional abuse in children and youth may include:
More information on preventing abuse and promoting safe, supportive environments for all children and youth can be found through our programs:
Workplace Harassment During the Pandemic
Despite expectations that workplace harassment might have decreased during the pandemic as many organizations shifted to working remotely, new research suggests the opposite. A survey led by Project Include, who advocate for diversity and inclusion efforts in the technology industry, found that:
These behaviours have also taken on new forms, ranging from individual to group-based bullying, harassment, and discrimination, experienced over video calls, emails, and workplace chat spaces (Rabasca Roepe, 2021).
This increase in gender-based harassment has also been found in research led by The Purple Campaign, who advocate for ending workplace harassment. Recent findings showed that 25% of employees surveyed also experienced an increase in gender-based harassment throughout the pandemic (Rabasca Roepe, 2021).
Possible reasons for this increase in harassment include changes in the ways we communicate and our working environments. With more one-on-one communication occurring in isolation and the lines between work and home environments being blurred, employees may act or speak in ways that are much more casual and informal than they normally would in physical work spaces (Rabasca Roepe, 2021).
To address these challenges, organizational leaders should clearly communicate to their employees that the same rules around psychological safety and professionalism apply in any type of work space, whether in the office or working from home (Rabasca Roepe, 2021). Establishing specific guidelines for video meetings, including the type of commentary in chats, having cameras and microphones on or off during meetings, and where meetings take place (for example, requiring a dedicated workspace with a professional background) can help to set a clear understanding for all employees (Rabasca Roepe, 2021). Establishing anonymous reporting systems, such as Whistleblower Hotlines, are one way to provide safe ways and mechanisms for employees to report harassment and other harmful behaviours.
Providing all staff with anti-harassment training, such as the Respect in the Workplace program, can help open the lines of communication between managers and employees and create a shared set of standards for organizations as a whole (Rabasca Roepe, 2021). Finally, for this training to be effective, it should come from a lens of preparing managers and employees to act as bystanders when witnessing harassment or other harmful behaviours, instead of approaching them as either victims or aggressors in these situations (Rabasca Roepe, 2021).
The Link Between Workplace Psychological Well-Being & Depression
New research has shown that full-time workers in organizations that don’t prioritize employee mental health have three times the risk of being diagnosed with depression (University of South Australia, 2021). The year-long study led by the University of South Australia’s Psychosocial Safety Climate Observatory, the world’s first research platform focusing on psychological health and safety in the workplace, also found that poor workplace mental health can be traced back to poor management practices (University of South Australia, 2021). If employee well-being is not prioritized and valued by organizations, these management practices can include high job demands and low resource availability, including working long hours, not rewarding or acknowledging hard work, unreasonable demands and expectations for workers, and a lack of autonomy in the workplace (University of South Australia, 2021). Along with higher rates of depression, increased levels of burnout and workplace bullying were also found within organizations that failed to support employee mental health (University of South Australia, 2021).
The researchers used the term psychological safety climate (PSC) to describe the practices used by management, including communication and participation systems, that protect the health and safety of employees (University of South Australia, 2021). Other studies have found that low PSC is an important predictor of emotional exhaustion and bullying (University of South Australia, 2021). Low PSC can result in increased employee stress; in turn, this can trigger bullying, which impacts all employees involved both directly and indirectly, often leading to higher rates of exhaustion and burnout (University of South Australia, 2021).
Low PSC is often found in companies that do not consult with employees and unions over workplace health and safety and those who provide little support for stress prevention (University of South Australia, 2021). Further, bullying can be both predicted and prevented, depending on a company’s level of PSC and commitment to employee mental health (University of South Australia, 2021). With the impacts of low PSC resulting in absenteeism, poor engagement in the workplace, more stress leaves and lower productivity, investing in your psychological safety climate benefits both the social and economic health of your organization (University of South Australia, 2021).
Emotional Literacy as a Tool for Psychologically Safe Leaders
Emotional literacy, or the ability to recognize and responsibly manage emotions, is one of the key skills held by psychologically safe leaders (Howatt & Winters, 2021). Leaders with high emotional literacy understand and care about how their and others’ behaviour impacts their colleagues and can manage their emotions under pressure (Howatt & Winters, 2021). A major challenge to emotional literacy is learning to navigate unpleasant, negative emotions proactively instead of reactively (Howatt & Winters, 2021). Understanding that emotions themselves are not the problem, but how they are handled, leaders who can manage difficult emotions effectively are well poised to support their teams through challenges (Howatt & Winters, 2021). Emotional literacy has no doubt benefitted leaders throughout the pandemic, as organizations and employees navigated unprecedented circumstances and ongoing changes to daily routines.
Four skills leaders can focus on to develop their emotional literacy include:
1. Increasing your self-awareness to better know and acknowledge your feelings.
Rather than just knowing your emotions, recognize why you might be feeling them and how your reaction to these emotions might impact others, both positively and negatively (Howatt & Winters, 2021).
2. Manage your initial reaction.
Negative emotions can and will happen, but you have a choice in how you react. If your immediate reaction is guided by negative emotions, this can often lead to worse situations or outcomes (Howatt & Winters, 2021).
3. Lean into and show empathy.
Empathy, or the ability to understand and share in your employee’s emotions, is a crucial skill for psychologically safe leaders. Beyond what employees are saying, their body language and tone are important cues to recognize how they are feeling (Howatt & Winters, 2021).
4. Recognize your mistakes and repair hurt feelings.
Psychologically safe leaders are able to admit when they are wrong and have made a mistake. Mistakes will happen, and authentic efforts to repair hurt feelings and acknowledge missteps are important habits for leaders to develop (Howatt & Winters, 2021).
Howatt, B., and Winters, T. (2021, July 21). Emotional literacy is a core competency for psychologically safe leaders. Occupational Health & Safety Canada. Retrieved from https://www.ohscanada.com/features/emotional-literacy-is-a-core-competency-for-psychologically-safe-leaders/
Rabasca Roepe, L. (2021, July 19). Why workplace harassment increased during the pandemic. Fast Company. Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/90655155/why-workplace-harassment-increased-during-the-pandemic
University of South Australia. (2021, June 24). Companies who pay scant attention to workers’ psychological health leave employees at higher risk of depression. Retrieved from https://www.unisa.edu.au/media-centre/Releases/2021/companies-who-pay-scant-attention-to-workers-psychological-health-leave-employees-at-higher-risk-of-depression/
At Respect Group, our programs are crafted to provide engaging online learning experiences that balance effectiveness with efficiency. It all begins with thoughtful instructional design. From the content and visual design to the technical structure of our programs, each program is designed to promote an accessible, user-friendly, and lasting learning experience.
Interactivity & Learner Engagement Features
In an online environment, multiple forms of interactivity are crucial to the effective transfer of knowledge and learner engagement. To best engage learners, training must overcome the attitudes towards and challenges of an online learning environment through the writing, visual elements, and audio of a program.
In an online learning environment, there are 4 levels of interactivity: passive, limited, moderate, and full, ranging from no interaction with the online learning experience to full immersion in the online learning experience (Pappas, 2015). Full online learning interactivity is achieved when learners have the opportunity to fully interact with the program content and give feedback, giving them significant control over their experience (Pappas, 2015). Some examples of this might include interactive or simulative games or exercises, audio or video that is customizable, stories and scenarios, multimedia, and more (Pappas, 2015).
All of Respect Group’s programs are designed to be immersive experiences and meet the standards for full online learning interactivity. Fully immersive, interactive modern learning environments have many benefits, including:
From pre/post-program surveys and client testimonials, to learners reaching out and sharing how the program has changed their views and behaviours, Respect Programs consistently receive positive feedback demonstrating the benefits above.
The design and content of Respect Programs are tailored by subject-matter experts to meet key learning objectives through micro-learning by dividing content into modules and topical components. Within these modules, expert clips, scenarios and storylines are used to contextualize the program content. Instead of focusing on definitions and concepts alone, our programs go beyond awareness and towards action, providing tools to apply what is being learned in real-life scenarios. The tone of our program scripts is conversational, with information being shared versus taught, and is designed to speak to the broadest possible audience, avoiding jargon and technical language.
Our approach aligns with multiple theories of instructional design. Cross’s Adult Learning Theory maintains that personal experiences influence how a learner will interpret and engage with the information (Mehta, 2020). Program elements such as quizzes and reflection questions personalize the learner’s experience with our programs. Burrows’s Problem-Based Learning theory is grounded in the idea that the purpose behind learning is to solve real-world problems (Mehta, 2020). Through scenarios, storylines, and expert clips, real-world problems are embedded into each module of all Respect Programs.
Within our programs, visual text is minimalized, aiming to complement but not overlap with verbal content and enhancing the visual experience on all types of screens. The focus is on key messaging, identifying and reinforcing core program themes. Further, white space is maintained throughout the program, which is not only visually appealing but beneficial for those with visual or reading challenges, or those for whom English and French is a second language. Handouts and additional learning resources are provided at the end of each program and clients may personalize these handouts to include their organization’s specific information and resources related to key topics covered in the program. These customized resources enable users to access this information outside of the learning space.
Evidence-based research on reducing cognitive load, or the required capacity to process information, when teaching with multimedia recommends limiting the number of words presented as visual information, instead favouring narration (Mayer & Moreno, 2003). Further, offering cues on which content is essential through emphasizing key words and synchronizing visuals and corresponding narration to eliminate duplication reduces the cognitive load on learners (Mayer & Moreno, 2003). The more the cognitive load on a learner is matched with their skill level, the more likely it is that they will individualize the content to their own experiences, all of which enhances learning (Mayer & Moreno, 2003).
Visual Design, Animation & Illustration
All Respect Programs are viewed through a primary content window, or a ‘stage’, a defined focal point for the eye to focus on. Movement, whether subtle or defined, occurs every 10-12 seconds to maintain engagement with the visual content.
Our internal design team plans and creates all visual elements used in our core programming. The illustrations used create motion, enhance visual interest, and complement the audio and visual messaging being shared simultaneously. These illustrations are also used in marketing materials for all programs to promote continuity of design across all Respect platforms. The animated aspects of our programs enhance the story-telling qualities of the audio, bringing program storylines and scenarios to life.
According to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of people are visual learners, compared to 30% of people who learn best by hearing (Hill, 2019). Animation and illustration have been identified as key tools used to simplify and communicate complex information that is harder to capture through video or text alone (Hill, 2019). They can also be used to bring personal stories to life, focus attention, and promote discussion, all of which are key goals of Respect Programs (Hill, 2019).
Accessibility to the Broadest Range of End-User Skill Sets
A core feature of all Respect Programs is our commitment to creating experiences that work for all learners across different contexts, including:
All of our programs are designed with the highest standards of accessibility. Our Respect in the Workplace program is WCAG 2.1 AA accredited, the highest accessibility standard accepted by all levels of the Canadian government, and we are working towards the accreditation process with the rest of our programs.
In contemporary learning environments, accessibility and usability are intertwined. Accessibility can be understood as the ability of an online learning environment to adjust to the needs of all learners, and usability is the ease of use of the learning environment or the tools or resources within it (Cooper et al., 2016). Designing for higher levels of accessibility, particularly through considering the needs of learners with diverse abilities, ultimately improves usability for all; in turn, both accessibility and usability directly impact the effectiveness of the program teachings (Cooper at al., 2016).
Further, the National Center on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) has created a set of UDL guidelines to promote universal design in online learning, including:
Our programs are developed in keeping with these standards to ensure accessibility for learners of all abilities and skill levels.
Technical Structure Features
Within all of our programs, the user is in charge of their learning journey. Learners decide when they complete their learning and in what ‘chunks’, based on micro-learning modules/sections that are typically between 7-10 minutes each. At the end of each section, a preview of the next section (including section length) helps learners to decide if they want to continue. Through sequential unlocking of program modules, content and information progressively build towards key learning objectives.
This structure yields two benefits that improve the effectiveness of our programs. First, the ability to follow a structure while providing options in how and when learning is completed allows users to take responsibility for their learning, building internal motivation to engage with the content (Morgan & Belfer, 2007). This structure also employs the technique of scaffolding learning outcomes from basic and broad to advanced and specific, which supports learners with a variety of skill sets progressing through their learning journey (McGill Library, 2021).
Other technical features include offline program access and the personalization of an organization’s learning journey through customized design, leader messages, and handouts. The option to personalize program content is one technique that supports full immersion and the highest level of interactivity in online learning programs (Pappas, 2015).
You can learn more about our programs and see these elements of instructional design in action through the links below:
Cooper, M., Colwell, C., & Jelfs, A. (2007). Embedding accessibility and usability: considerations for e-learning research and development projects. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/69bb/58db9ee5ac7a6aa3fd8f1b5ef96173ee38e3.pdf
Hill, D. (2019, March 22). Making the most of animation in elearning. Retrieved from https://www.elucidat.com/blog/animation-elearning-examples/
Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2003). Nine ways to reduce cognitive load in multimedia learning. Educational psychologist, 38(1), 43-52.
McGill Library. (2021, June 11). eLearning kit: Designing for e-learning. Retrieved from https://libraryguides.mcgill.ca/eLkit/designing
Mehta, N. (2020, December 3). Some important instructional design theories. Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/important-instructional-design-theories
Morgan. T., & Belfer, K. “A framework for choosing communication activities in e-learning” In: Bullen, M., & Janes, D. P. (2007). Making the transition to e-learning: Strategies and issues.
Pappas, C. (2015, April 18). eLearning interactivity: The ultimate guide for eLearning professionals. Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/elearning-interactivity-the-ultimate-guide-for-elearning-professionals
At Respect Group, making our programs accessible for learners of all abilities is key. Our team has been working incredibly hard towards accreditation to evolve our programs to be compatible with screen-reader technology. Screen readers are software programs that support learners who are blind or partially sighted to read the text that is displayed within our programs through a speech synthesizer or braille display (American Foundation for the Blind, 2020). We want to offer the best experience possible and provide an inclusive learning environment for users of all abilities.
Today, Respect Group is proud to announce that our Respect in the Workplace program has now been updated and accredited as fully compliant with the stringent WCGA 2.1 AA standard, the strictest standard set out by the World Wide Web Consortium. These updates include:
These updates have currently been upgraded for this specific program: Respect in the Workplace (both generic and SCORM versions). Additionally, we are currently working towards these accessibility guidelines for the Respect in Sport for Activity Leaders, Respect in Sport for Parents, Return to Hockey, Gender Equity Lens Program, and Keeping Girls in Sport Supporting Positive Behaviour, Welcoming All Abilities, Stay in the Game, and Respect in School programs. Moving forward, all new programs will be made accessible upon release.
Respect Group will continue working on and implementing accessibility updates for all of our programs in order to provide an inclusive learning environment for users of all abilities.
American Foundation for the Blind. (2020). Screen readers. Retrieved from: https://www.afb.org/blindness-and-low-vision/using-technology/assistive-technology-products/screen-readers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On behalf of Respect Group and myself, personally, I would like to applaud Sport Canada for their commitment and funding of an Independent Safe Sport Mechanism and the awarding of that contract to the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC). I am honoured to have been part of this national movement to improve sport and ensure that athletes that do come forward have a safe, unbiased place to report and be heard without repercussion. This announcement has also given me the opportunity to reflect on the past 25 years;
Culture change takes time but today, with this announcement, it further reminds me that, with leadership, it is indeed possible.
Sheldon Kennedy CM AOE OM
Member Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame
Member Order of Hockey in Canada
Co-Founder Respect Group
Respect Group, established in 2004 by Co-Founders Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil, is Canada’s leading on-line training provider focused exclusively on the prevention of abuse, bullying and harassment and discrimination. Offering certification programs for community/sport organizations, schools and the workplace, Respect Group has certified over 1.6 Million Canadians.
For more information on Respect Group, please visit www.respectgroupinc.com
For more information, please contact:
To see the Government of Canada Press Releases Please visit:
Equity, diversity, and inclusion, or ‘EDI’, are key values that contribute to the fabric and sustainability of any organization. While the acronym EDI is often used broadly, and the individual terms used interchangeably, it is important to understand the distinctions between these terms, and how they are essential to building a culture of respect in any organization.
Source: Inclusion by Design: Insights from Design Week Portland; Gensler
The infographic above from Gensler provides the individual definitions and visual depictions of diversity, equity, and inclusion. While the elements of these terms overlap and build upon one another, there are clear differences in what they mean and look like in practice. While diversity involves recognizing and celebrating the differences between individuals, equity focuses on fair treatment and access to opportunities for all, particularly individuals who have been marginalized within our society (Gensler, 2019). Inclusion involves having a range of voices and representation from all members of an organization involved in both power-sharing and decision-making (Gensler, 2019).
Recognition of and support for equity, diversity, and inclusion within organizations strengthens both the organization as a whole and the individuals working within it. The third report in a series from McKinsey exploring the business case for diversity and inclusion demonstrates that internationally, companies whose executive teams were more diverse across gender, ethnicity, and culture significantly outperformed their less diverse counterparts, who tended to underperform financially (Hunt et al., 2020). Two keys to the successes of the former group are a systematic approach to diversity and inclusion, and taking bold action to strengthen inclusion (Hunt et al., 2020). Key ‘pain points’ identified by employees who felt their organizations did not prioritize inclusion were a lack of equality, openness, and belonging (Hunt et al., 2020). Further, employees felt that leadership taking strong action to promote openness, belonging, and equality of opportunity was a necessary component of inclusive cultures (Hunt et al., 2020).
Taken together, diverse, inclusive, and equitable organizations are not only more profitable, but support environments that are physically and psychologically safe, where all individuals are respected and have the opportunity to thrive. These successful organizations do not tolerate behaviours that undermine respect, such as bullying, abuse, harassment, or disrimination, or BAHD behaviours. They understand the importance of preventing these behaviours and how to address them should they occur.
Equity, diversity, and inclusion are foundational cornerstones built into all Respect Group programs. Through exploring the value of EDI, the root causes of BAHD behaviours and how to mitigate them, our curriculum highlights the importance of building a positive, respectful culture. Respect Programs include relevant and timely content, including and beyond the following:
Above all, our programs focus on a key theme of empowering the bystander and the role every individual can play in promoting respect within their organization. More information about our individual programs can be found through the links below:
Hunt, V., Dixon-Fyle, S., Dolan, K., Prince, S. (2020). Diversity wins: How inclusion matters. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/diversity-wins-how-inclusion-matters
Gensler and Kim, S.J. (2019). Inclusion by Design: Insights from Design Week Portland. Retrieved from https://www.gensler.com/blog/inclusion-by-design-insights-from-design-week-portland