Promoting Independent Performance of Transition-Related Tasks Using a Palmtop PC-Based Self-Directed Visual and Auditory Prompting System
Laura A. Riffel, Michael L. Wehmeyer, Ann P. Turnbull, Jennifer Lattimore, Daniel Davies, Steven Stock, Sherilyn Fisher
Journal of Special Education Technology Volume 20, Number 2, ISSN 0162-6434
This study examined the use of a palmtop computer running a software program by transition-age students with cognitive disabilities to increase independence on vocational and independent living tasks. The purpose of this research was to test the hypotheses that a palmtop computer utilizing a Windows CE platform with touch screen capabilities and programmed with the Visual Assistant program would (a) decrease the need for external prompts from the instructor, (b) increase the number of steps completed in a given task without external prompts, and (c) decrease the duration of time spent on each task for students with intellectual disabilities. Four students from a large suburban school district who were receiving special education services under the category of mental retardation were included in this research. Research was conducted using a multiple-baseline, across-participants design. Baseline, intervention, and follow-up data were collected on vocationally-oriented or life-skill tasks in the student's existing educational program. Upon completion of baseline data collection, students were taught to use the palmtop with the Visual Assistant program. In the computer-use condition, students required fewer instructor prompts to complete the tasks and increased the number of steps that they completed independently. The potential benefit of applying technology to support transition-related tasks for students with mental retardation is discussed. (Contains 7 figures and 3 tables.)
Riffel, L.A., Wehmeyer, M.L., Turnbull, A.P., Lattimore, J., Davies, D., Stock, S. & Fisher, S. (2005). Promoting Independent Performance of Transition-Related Tasks Using a Palmtop PC-Based Self-Directed Visual and Auditory Prompting System. Journal of Special Education Technology, 20(2), 5-14.