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WORK Phase I

A self-paced, adaptive job skills intervention for students with intellectual disabilities
WORK - Web-based Occupational Resource Kit logo

Project Description

The Challenge

Employment is essential for individuals with intellectual disabilities to achieve independence, financial security, and self-sufficiency — so that they can be active members in the community and achieve a higher quality of life. However, research-based support is lacking for students with autism spectrum disorder and other intellectual disabilities after high school, while existing support programs often face reduced budgets and increased service requests. Unfortunately, only 25% of individuals with intellectual disabilities are employed two years after high school.

Our Response

Using 3C Institute’s dynamic e-learning platform (DeLP), WORK (Web-based Occupational Resource Kit) is the first self-paced, adaptive job skills intervention designed specifically to meet the learning styles and social and emotional needs of students with intellectual disabilities. With Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding, this Phase I project supported initial development of a fully functioning software prototype of WORK, as well as feasibility testing with educators and usability testing with students with intellectual disabilities. Continued research and development in Phase II will demonstrate the effectiveness of this online, interactive learning and practice environment, providing an intuitive and feasible product for educators. WORK strengthens the home-school connection with integrated resources, reports, and easily shared activities, and supports implementation with online professional development tools.


Dynamic, adaptive instruction

WORK’s software monitors each student’s performance to adjust the difficulty of interactive tasks and provide a scaffold for learning, and provides individualized reports for practice and self-assessment.

Video role plays and animated scenes

Live actors on video will demonstrate various ways for students to address likely challenges. Animated segments will support key ideas and engage students.

Engaging interactive segments

Students will be able to practice skills with a variety of interactive exercises, including game-based animated scenes, branching role plays, and visualization tools.

Report center

Educators will monitor assignment completion and generate student performance reports. Reports will include an interpretive section and personalized suggestions for additional intervention strategies.