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Comparing technology with built-in decision-making on vocational skills for students with ASD and/or IDD.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to compare mobile technology devices (i.e., Tablets) with built-in decision prompts and branching to improve the independent vocational performance of four secondary students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and/or intellectual and developmental disability (IDD).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: An adapted alternating treatments design was used to compare the effectiveness of the prompting system presented on Apple iPads and Microsoft Windows-based tablets. The prompting system contained audio, video, and picture prompts. Further, we investigated the effectiveness of improving problem-solving through decision-making prompts and branching. Participants used the devices to make decisions on how to properly prepare a teacher's lounge including filling salt and pepper shakers, cleaning tables, and filling silverware containers.

RESULTS: Results indicated that both devices produced immediate and significant increases in independent responding for all participants. All participants also self-faded prompt dependence throughout the duration of the intervention as vocational skill acquisition increased.

CONCLUSION: Teachers and students have enhanced access to powerful devices capable of providing individual support for vocational skills. This study indicates that a multimedia prompting system with multiple prompt mediums can improve independent completion of targeted vocational skills while decreasing the reliance on technological support.Implications for rehabilitationTechnology offers an effective and personalized support to encourage independent vocational skills in secondary participants with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and/or intellectual and developmental disability (IDD).A technology support system that is universally designed with built-in decision-making offers a more authentic approach to transition support.The results have demonstrated that participants with ASD and/or IDD were successful completing a vocational task utilizing the universally designed prompting system, regardless of device.The results suggest that utilizing this approach to vocational support will not only improve independent success, but participants will also self-fade technology use as mastery is gained.

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