HCBS Training

Designing Cultural Responsive Training

group of diverse men and women standing in front of a gray wall. They are looking up at images of light bulbs

Learning about cultural responsiveness is only one part of developing an organization that actively works to create a positive multicultural workforce. Consider embedding culturally affirming values into the design of each training provided. Share how awareness of cultural diversity impacts each type of practice. The team may have the best intentions when teaching person-centered and positive support practices but if the training does not consider cultural differences across staff and provide inclusive examples during instruction, the training will not be as effective. Seeking out an expert trainer who can assist providers to improve cultural responsiveness within staff development is recommended.

As a team, think about the methods now being used during training within the organization. Assess who the trainers are, their experiences, how topics are introduced and taught, and how the materials are presented.

  • Read example stories aloud for everyone to help people who don’t read well, or read slowly
  • Provide ways for people to share their ideas in a variety of ways so more people feel comfortable making contributions (e.g. writing ideas down, sharing as a group)
  • Consider printing training material in different languages and formats
  • Choose stories that reflect a variety of people and authentic cultural values (Some people value independence and self-determination while others may value the family or larger community as the driving force in decision making)
  • Provide extra time in breaks for prayer or for someone who needs extra time to use the restroom
  • Ask in advance whether any accomodations are needed for materials shared and if the interview is onsite 
  • Plan later start times for people with young children
  • Carefully plan when trainings occur on the calendar and be mindful of religious holidays or other sacred days


Please use the MN Team Checklist and the HCBS Planning Tool to complete the activity.

Minnesota Team Checklist.  Item number 26 in Staff Performance and Development section.  Training in cultural responsiveness is integrated into staff development efforts. Score the checklist: 0 – planning not yet started, 1 – in progress, or 2 – fully in place.

Checklist item 26: Training in cultural responsiveness is integrated into staff development efforts.

Discuss how trainings are currently organized and what might be changed.

Minnesota Team Checklist

HCBS Planning Tool

If you haven't already done so please use these links to access the tools.