Persons with intellectual disability may encounter difficulties in making choices and expressing preferences because of restricted communication skills or a tendency to acquiesce. In addition, many studies provide evidence that these persons have less opportunity to make choices and express their preferences. The aim of this study was to conduct a field test of an innovative method to assess vocational preferences using choice and task completion observations. Sixteen educators were trained to use this method. They were recruited through local developmental disability agencies specializing in services for persons with intellectual disability in the Province of Quebec (Canada). Nineteen persons with intellectual disability were assessed. Occurrences of four types of behaviors (choice, refusal, positive emotional and off-task behaviors), as well as length of time spent working on the task, were computed to determine levels of preferences. Interviews were conducted with the educators to collect their perceptions regarding the effectiveness and usefulness of the method as a measure of its value in use. Results suggest that this method is useful to assess vocational preferences with persons with intellectual disability. Interviews conducted with educators reveal a high satisfaction with the method. Vocational preferences assessment should rely on frequency of choices, as other behaviors previously considered as expressing preferences are not reliable. This study also provides further evidence that proxy opinions may differ from one’s actual preferences.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|