Promoting Social Interactions and Job Independence for College Students with Autism or Intellectual Disability: A Pilot Study Academic Article uri icon


  • The employment outcomes for young adults with autism or intellectual disability (ID) lag far behind those of their peers without disabilities. Most postsecondary education programs for students with disabilities incorporate internship experiences to foster employment skills. However, the proximity of job coaches may inadvertently hinder social opportunities and independence. We used a multiple-probe, single-case experimental design across three college students with autism or ID to examine the effects of a coaching package on task engagement and social interactions. For all participants, interactions increased and task engagement maintained when job coaches reduced proximity and delivered prompts discreetly through bug-in-ear devices. Participants considered the intervention beneficial and unobtrusive. We present implications for supporting employment preparation within postsecondary education programs.

author list (cited authors)

  • Gilson, C. B., & Carter, E. W.

citation count

  • 30

publication date

  • November 2016