Currently recommended practice in supported work emphasizes training job skills to workers with severe disabilities while on the job. Early behavioral research indicated that skills needed in natural environments could also be trained in simulated settings. We compared job-site plus simulation training for teaching job skills to supported workers with autism to provision of training exclusively on the job. Job-site training occurred in a small publishing company during the regular work routine, and simulation training occurred in an adult education site for people with severe disabilities. Two pairs of workers received training on two job skills; one skill was trained at the job site and the other was trained using job-site plus simulation training. Results indicated that for 3 of the 4 comparisons, job-site plus simulation training resulted in a higher level of skill or more rapid skill acquisition than did job-site-only training. Results suggested that job-site training, the assumed best practice for teaching vocational skills, is likely to be more effective if supplemented with simulation training. Directions for future research include expanding applications of behavioral technologies to other aspects of the current support paradigm
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