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Enhance A Worker's Ability To Learn And Perform Independently

In some instances, using a compensatory strategy will eliminate instruction and allow the individual to participate in activities which he/she otherwise would not be able. There are multiple strategies that can be used for any support need. Brainstorming by the worker who has a disability, the employer, coworkers, and job coaches can usually generate a list of possible options. The following provides some examples of possible compensatory strategies.

Worker needs a strategy to sequence his/her job duties.

  • written list
  • recorded instructions
  • picture book
  • assignment board
Worker requires assistance to locate his/her job station.
  • imagery (e.g., worker visualizes himself walking a specific route)
  • place/environmental "markers" (e.g., walk to the windows, look for the green file cabinet, walk to it, etc.)
  • map or line drawing
  • picture cues

Worker needs to organize copy requests to complete work assignments.

  • in/out box for each person requesting work
  • stacking files for organizing requests by days of the week
  • audio cassette of requests

Care should be given to the design and construction of strategies to ensure that they do not stigmatize the worker.

It is helpful to remember that:

  • Strategies should be those that any adult would use within a work environment and would be accepted by the work culture.
  • Using a compensatory strategy may require instruction and should be included within task analyses that are developed.
  • If instruction is required, the worker, employer, coworkers, and the employment specialist should decide who will provide the support.
  • If the job coach provides the initial training, a design for fading support to that naturally occurring in the workplace should be developed and implemented as soon as possible


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