Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Carole Zangari

Committee Member

Kathleen Kardaras


augmentative and alternative communication, autism spectrum disorder, behavior skills training, job coaches, self-efficacy


Although a sizeable percentage of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are minimally verbal or nonverbal, there is limited research on how to best support these individuals in employment settings. Job coaches working with this population should receive specialized training in evidence-based practices (EBP) for ASD to ensure optimal outcomes. This study describes the development, implementation, and evaluation of an online training program for job coaches focused on a behavior skills training approach supporting the use of augmentative and alternative communication. Twenty-two job coaches completed the study. Pre- and posttraining measures were used to evaluate knowledge, self-efficacy, and belief systems using a knowledge assessment based on the content of the training, the Usage Rating Profile-Intervention Revised for Job Coaches, and the Evidence-Based Practice Attitude Scale-36, respectively. Findings revealed an increase in knowledge and self-efficacy and a positive association between self-efficacy and belief in the use of EBPs optimizing the potential for adults with ASD to be successful in employment. These findings extend the limited evidence currently available on how best to provide job coaches training in a manner that fosters effective job performance while integrating EBPs for ASD.