Increasing staff members interactions with a person with multiple disabilities


A teacher, three other staff members who work with people with multiple disabilities, and an individual with multiple disabilities.


Researchers wanted to determine if the staff would communicate more frequently with an individual with multiple disabilities if the individual was taught to use a communication device. Megan is a 23 year old diagnosed with profound mental retardation, spastic quadriplegia, and visual impairment. Megan was introduced to the Voice Output Communication Aid (VOCA) by putting pictures of her favorite foods or leisure activities on the VOCA keypad. She was taught to press the corresponding key to produce a voice activated request for the item she wanted. Staff members were taught how to put the VOCA on Megan's wheel-chair, turn it off and on, and store it.


The percentage of intervals with staff interaction were calculated before and after VOCA was used.


Scheips, M.M. & Reid, D.H. (1995). Effects of a voice output communication aid between support personnel and an individual with multiple disabilities. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 28, 73-77.


Rebecca Brashears, ETSU