The purpose of this intervention-based case study is to provide an overview of an intervention aimed at improving employment skills for Carla, a 22-year-old female with intellectual disability enrolled in an inclusive postsecondary education program (IPSE). One specific aim of the IPSE is to prepare graduates for competitive integrated employment and inclusive community opportunities. Data has consistently indicated that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) experience poorer employment outcomes compared to their peers without disabilities (Lipscomb et al., 2017) and one barrier to employment for individuals with IDD include lack of soft skills. One intervention that has been developed to address improving soft-skills is UPGRADE Your Performance and includes multiple components (i.e., goal setting, self-evaluation, self-graphing, self-monitoring, & technology-aided instruction). A recent study was conducted with Carla and other young adults attending the same IPSE and who were working competitively in the community. This case study highlights the specific experience of one of the participants, Carla. This case study describes her unique needs, how modifications were identified to increase Carla’s response to the intervention, and what additional supports were provided to improve her progress towards her employment goals. Implications for future research and recommendation for current and future teachers are provided. In addition, questions have been posed for potential use in teacher preparation programs.

Author Bios

Dr. Kelly R. Kelley received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She helped co-found and now directs the University Participant (UP) Program at Western Carolina University. Along with this role, she also serves as a Professor in Inclusive/Special Education.

Dr. Kelly A. Clark received her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is an Assistant Professor in the Child Development, Literacy, and Special Education Department at Appalachian State University.

Dr. Larry B. Fisher is an Assistant Professor of special education at Western Carolina University. He has 19 years of experience working directly with individuals with extensive support needs. Dr. Fisher received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in special education and a post-master's certificate in school administration from WCU. He received his Ph.D. in Special Education from UNC Charlotte in 2018. Dr. Fisher’s research interests include antecedent-based interventions, teaching communication skills to students with complex communication needs, teacher evaluation tools for teachers of students with significant disabilities, and single-case design methodology.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Figures 1 & 2 JCLEL.pdf (220 kB)
Figures 1 & 2