Remote Coaching Builds Student Skills

  • 15- Capital Area IU 15

    IU15 - Capital Area Intermediate Unit (CAIU)
    15- Capital Area IU 15
    55 Miller Street
    55 Miller Street
    Summerdale, PA 17093

  • Success Story Contact

    Arlene Moll
    Phone: 717-732-8400
    School Website:

  • BSE/PaTTAN’s Role in Success:

    PaTTAN has worked closely with and provided training to CAIU in the areas of Autism and Transition.

Capital Area IU (CAIU) 15, the recipient of a Pennsylvania Department of Education Autism Transition grant, joined with Messiah College’s Special Education Department Research Team and Symbionx to develop a less intrusive way of providing job coach and job support to students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. PaTTAN provided training and technical assistance on the project through the Autism Support project. The high school students experience social challenges and sometimes end up in positions well below their level of functionality because they cannot verbally convey their aptitude in certain job skills.A device with a buttonhole camera and earpiece was used to allow the job coaches to be in a remote location with auditory and visual feedback. The pilot program used two specific tasks presented to the student and follow-up and direction from the job coach through the earpiece. Students had no prior knowledge about the tasks they were going to perform. Each job coach had a script to follow and read the tasks to be performed to the students.This is the third year of the grant and during the last two years specific strategies and tools in the work environment have been developed to prepare the students for transition from school to work.

One student entered the trial with a very negative attitude and said he did not think it would work and that he would not feel comfortable wearing an earpiece and receiving instruction from his job coach if he/she was not right at his side. Once he was fitted with the gear he made no complaints and had no arguments.Once all of the trials are complete, the research will be used by CAIU in the development of a Job Coaching Manual for students with autism. Congratulations to CAIU on their great program to assist students with skill development!

It is possible for this to work for other schools/intermediate units. CAIU is currently in the process of developing the Job Coaching Manual which could be very helpful to other LEAs.