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    Goodwill Industries of Tulsa Program Highlight: Transition Work Adjustment Training

    It was a full day of activities in Goodwill Industries of Tulsa’s Transition Work Adjustment Training classroom. Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder from surrounding public high schools go for half of their school day to prepare for entering the workforce upon graduation. The students work on appropriate work behaviors through a group game, an interactive module, and role play.

    A students engage in a learning game during the specialized Autism class at Goodwill's Work Adjustment Training Program.

    A students engage in a learning game during the specialized Autism class at Goodwill’s Work Adjustment Training Program.

    The students toss a ball with conversation topics on it. Whichever topic their thumb lands on is the subject they start a discussion about with their classmates. For example, a scenario given to them by their instructor was – In The Break Room At Work. The students practiced different topics suitable for work. Their instructor coached them along as the students picked up social cues to determine interest in the topic to know when to continue and when to conclude the conversation.

    The students also work through online modules including appropriate communication with your boss. The interactive video introduces a new employee who was unhappy with the silly uniform her boss asked her to wear at work. The instructor clicks through three video clips of interactions between the employee and her boss. Then the students have to choose the clip that is most appropriate for work and discuss why.

    Students watch an instruction module during the specialized Autism class at Goodwill's Work Adjustment Training Program.

    Students watch an instruction module during the specialized Autism class at Goodwill’s Work Adjustment Training Program.

    “I like the video modules we do in class the most,” Billy said. “Because it teaches body language and tone.”
    The students also work through worksheets as they take turns role playing various work situations including when an employee  walks in to ask their employer if they can leave work early. The employer declines the employes’ request by stating they are understaffed and need them to stay. The group plays out what to do and then a second time for what not to do.
    The students eagerly volunteer for the various roles, and were all engaged as their classmates let the story play out. The students all agreed hands-on exercises like this help them recall and rely on appropriate work communication outside of the classroom.

    “It can be difficult to practice what we learn here in our other classrooms or at home,” Daniel said, “but when I do get to teach others what I’ve learned, it’s cool.”

     

    Students participate in a workplace role play activity during the specialized Autism class at Goodwill's Work Adjustment Training Program.

    Students participate in a workplace role play activity during the specialized Autism class at Goodwill’s Work Adjustment Training Program.

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