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Brief: Why and How Electronic Job Coaches Improve Employment for People with Disabilities

Date Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2023

thumbnail of briefTypically, employers do not have the training to manage people with ID with these challenges. This task falls to job coaches, job developers, or employment specialists (e.g., providers) and the agencies that provide such services. Without effective and efficient tools to support the executive functioning of individuals with ID, policies that aim to affect their competitive integrated employment can result in an unmanageable burden on the provider. Today’s jobs are more complex. Providers need tools that can help them effectively and efficiently build, record, and adjust prompts and instructions as changes occur in real time. However, they may not have the time and/or the skills required to make clear, accurate instructional prompts for multiple workers with ID in different settings.

To identify the needs of employers, providers, and workers with ID, a NIDILRR-funded project collected data from supervisors, employers and providers of employment services to workers with ID. These interviews were used to determine the requirements of an ideal system that would help them better instruct, coach, track progress and manage teams of employees with ID. This brief describes their findings and development of a cloud-based interactive electronic job coaching app that allows employment services providers to efficiently convert work assignments into the essential details required by the mobile worker with ID, and then wirelessly transfer the appropriate instructions to the worker’s electronic coach.

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This brief was one of three outputs from the "Which Dissemination Approach Best Reaches NIDILRR Stakeholders: A Comparative Effectiveness Study (study #H00022291)".