A Team of Support


It is critical to include all members of the educational team when teaching workskills in order to optimize the student's success.  For example a multi-disciplinary team supports students in their work at the Perkins Trust where they make “Thank-you” calls to recent donors.  Here are some of the ways in which members of the team provide training and support:

  • The student learns and practices the script with their Speech Therapist, where role play sessions help to teach students to modify the script according to caller's response. 
  • An Occupational Therapist brainstorms ideas for seating and telephone accommodations. 
  • Lessons with the Orientation & Mobility instructor focus on developing the most efficient routes to and from the work site and establishing entry and exit routines. 
  • Technology such as braille note takers and laptop computers are used to access the donor contact information and communicate with the supervisor in the Trust department.
  • The student and job coach evaluate performance based on a rubric; i.e. was the individual responsive, was the message communicated clearly?  
  • Students submit payroll information on a weekly basis.
  • The student often uses the skills acquired during the on-campus job to supported work at other call center sites in the community.


Strategies to Help Students Develop Vocational Skills: A Team Approach

The following strategies are effective in helping develop a team approach:

  • Use task analysis to break down a large job into manageable tasks.
  • Analyze all aspects of the job, including dress, travel, seating, technology considerations.
  • Instructors have clearly stated roles and are kept informed how the student generalizes skills to the workplace.
  • Student has knowledge of IEP goals and objectives and helps to measure progress.
  • Use rubrics to establish clear expectations and measure for progress.
  • Give immediate feedback  and discuss strategies to improve performance.
  • Job coach support is reduced according to student progress and acquisition of skills.

strategies collage

Total Life Learning by Wendy Bridgeo,‎ Beth Caruso,‎ & Mary Zatta

Cover of Total Life Learning

The Total Life Learning curriculum was developed for students ages 3 to 22 who are blind, visually impaired including those students who have additional disabilities or are deafblind. The focus is on the development of life and career goals that enable student to maximize independence, self-determination, employability, and participation in the community.