A Comparison of Hand-Held Computer and Staff Model Supports for High School Students With Autism and Intellectual DisabilitiesBy Spench-Cochran, Kim; Pearl, Cynthia; Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits, Special Issue, pp. 26-42
Publication Date: Fall 2009
Study examined the efficacy of a hand held computer (HH) intervention versus a staff model (SM) intervention as vocational instructional tools for 5 high school students with autism and intellectual disabilities. Participants were 1 female and 4 male high school students aged 15 to 19 years with diagnoses of autism and developmental disorders who were enrolled in a specialized community based vocational program. The software used in the HH intervention was the Visual Assistant program, which enables users to view step by step pictures paired with auditory instructions on a hand held computer screen in order to work at their own pace. An alternating treatments design was employed to analyze the effects of the two interventions on the completion of 18 authentic novel job tasks within a local department store. Findings indicated both treatments led to increased independence during task completion as evidenced by decreasing trends in the number of staff prompts delivered. However, the overall frequency of staff prompting was lower across tasks and across participants in the HH phase. Results suggest the use of technology to support individuals with severe disabilities has the potential to increase their level of independence for job completion within community based settings.
Assistive Products Discussed: VISUAL ASSISTANT
Published by: Special Education Assistive Technology Center, Illinois State University (Website:http://www.seat.ilstu.org/)
Assistive Technology Industry Association (Web Site: http://www.atia.org. )