Coming to a Conference/ Training Near You: The SRL Interactive “Game”NSRLP
Sue Rice, NSRLP Project Manager, was invited to present the opening plenary for the Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario annual training symposium on March 2nd. SLASTO is a cluster of Ontario adjudicative tribunals comprising the Animal Care Review Board, the Fire Safety Commission, the Licence Appeal Tribunal, the Ontario Civilian Police Commission, and the Ontario Parole Board. Over 100 adjudicators and members of SLASTO were in the room for Sue’s presentation “Working with SRLS: Moving Beyond Stereotypes to Practical Strategies”. They were also the first Ontario audience to participate in the NSRLP’s Interactive SRL “Game”.
The SRL Game is an interactive learning tool developed by the NSRLP to actively demonstrate the frustrations, challenges, and stress of self-representation in a journey filled with many unexpected and trying circumstances. One (blindfolded) audience member “plays” the SRL and is subjected to multiple typical “SRL experiences” in their search for justice, read from game cards by audience members.
After the game, the “SRL” described her discomfort and profound lack of understanding over what was happening in her access to justice journey. Watching her struggles, the SLASTO audience commented on how “unpredictable” the experience is for SRLs, and the “lack of control” for individuals working in a system that is unfamiliar to them. They also commented on the importance of a friendly face in the process, and proper management of litigant expectations with complete and clear explanations.
Gary Yee, Associate Chair of the Licence Appeal Tribunal, commented: “The issue of self-reps is perhaps the key trend in tribunals today, and our tribunal cluster’s annual training symposium greatly benefited from Sue Rice’s wonderful presentation on March 2nd. I have rarely seen such an engaging plenary session, and an important part of this was the interactive game that helped all of us gain more empathy about SRLs and their experiences in the administrative justice system. Changing attitudes is the most difficult aspect of adult learning, and this game was a creative way to tackle that challenge. Bravo!”
The NSRLP is continuing to develop the SRL Interactive Game, and looking forward to utilizing it with other groups in the future.