Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Bennett, K., Brady, M. P., Scott, J., Dukes, C. & Frain, M. (2010). The effects of covert audio coaching on the job performance of supported employees.. Focus on Autism and other Developmental Disabiliites, 25 (3), 173-185.
Title:  The effects of covert audio coaching on the job performance of supported employees.
Authors:  Bennett, K., Brady, M. P., Scott, J., Dukes, C. & Frain, M.
Year:  2010
Journal/Publication:  Focus on Autism and other Developmental Disabiliites
Publisher:  Hammill Institute on Disabilities/SAGE
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/1088357610371636
Full text:  http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1088357610371636    |   PDF   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No

Structured abstract:

Background:  Job retention remains elusive for people with developmental disabilities. This study examines the effect of covert audio coaching on job performance of individuals with disabilities in supported employment. Covert Audio Coaching (CAC) consists of a two-way radio system in which the coach has a radio transmitter and the person being supported has a radio receiver with an attached ear piece, allowing the coach to deliver feedback that only the recipient can hear.
Purpose:  The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of CAC for delivering explicit feedback directly to people with disabilities. Researchers seek to find out if CAC improves the job skills of employees with disabilities in supported employment and to what extent improvements will be maintained once CAC is removed.
Setting:  The setting in this study was the job site of participants in individual models of supported employment. One setting was a two-story apartment building with tiled hallways separating two-bedroom living unites. The second setting was a public school with a landscaped campus with three buildings connected by covered walkways. The third setting was a food bank in a refrigerated semi trailer located near a driveway with car and van access.
Study sample:  The sample in this study consisted of three male employees. Subject one was a 22 year old male with Autism; subject two was a 30 year old male with an intellectual disability and subject three was a 42 year old male with an intellectual disability.
Intervention:  The intervention in this study was the use of covert audio coaching (CAC).
Control or comparison condition:  A baseline rate was gathered across employees and work tasks to evaluate the effects of the intervention.
Data collection and analysis:  All data were collected by one of three observers who were trained to collect data before the beginning of the study. Data was analyzed by percent of time the participants' tasks were completed correctly and the rate at which they were completed. Percentage and rate of the task analysis were the dependent variables and the independent variable was rate of performance feedback via CAC. A baseline rate was gathered across employees and work tasks to evaluate the effects of the intervention.
Findings:  The impact CAC had on accuracy with subject 1 showed an increase of accuracy from 20% at baseline to 90% after intervention. Subject two accuracy increased from 38% at baseline to between 97 and 100% after intervention. Subject three showed steady improvement throughout intervention from 66 to 79%. The impact CAC had on durability was shown by a 96-100% accuracy rate after removal of the intervention for subject one, 95% accuracy shown by subject two after removal, and 73-81% accuracy for subject three. Finally, task fluency was measured and the highest percentage increase from baseline to intervention was 792.5%.
Conclusions:  The results of this study can be used to conclude that CAC intervention was effective in increasing the work performance of supported employees with disabilities and the changes were durable several weeks after removal of the intervention. This suggests that CAC can be used to improve employee performance, making it a viable tool for job coaches, coworkers and supervisors of employees with disabilities.

Disabilities served:  Autism / ASD
Developmental disabilities
Interventions:  Accommodations
Assistive technology
Co-worker supports
On-the-job training and support
Other
Outcomes:  Other