Clark, K. (2018). The Generalized Effects of UPGRADE Your Performance on Employment Soft Skills of Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: A Study of Generalization. Unc Charlotte Electronic Theses And Dissertations.
This was the third study investigating the effects of UPGRADE Your Performance on soft skills (e.g., attitude, cooperation, reliability, productivity, on-task behavior, quality of work, and teamwork) of students with disabilities. UPGRADE Your Performance instruction is a multicomponent intervention that includes self-monitoring, goal setting, self-graphing, and technology-aided instruction. Previous studies (Clark, Konrad, & Test, in press; Clark, Test, & Konrad, in press) found students were able to improve their performance on self-selected soft skills while participating in work based learning opportunities (e.g., school job sites, community job sites) and generalized their soft skills from a self-selected soft skill area to other non-targeted soft skill areas measured by the job performance rubric (JPR). However, despite this generalization, students did not always meet the mastery criteria in all of the non-targeted soft skill areas. Therefore, this study focused on generalized effects of UPGRADE Your Performance on the acquisition of soft skills of young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) working at community job sites located on a university campus. Participants included two young adults with IDD (i.e., autism spectrum disorder, mild/moderate intellectual disability) participating in an age 18-21 transition program. Students were evaluated on their performance while working to determine if they were able to increase their skills in two self-selected soft skill area; as well as, the effect on non-targeted soft skills measured by the JPR. Results indicated participants mastered the two self-selected soft skill areas, as well as each of the non-targeted (generalization) skills. Additionally, students were able to generalize their skills to the Vocational Rehabilitation Work Adjustment Rubric used by Vocational Rehabilitation counselors. Findings from this study provide strategies for practitioners to use when providing soft skill instruction to students with IDD.