On Campus Jobs for High School and Transition Students: Part 2

Categories: Life Skills | Resources | Visuals
In part one of this series about on campus job opportunities, I discussed all of the things that need to happen before our students start work.  Creating visuals, teaching routines and setting up systems is so important in order to facilitate independence for our students.  Today, I want to share some of the specific job tasks our students perform, including ways that you can upgrade, downgrade or adapt the task so students can participate as independently as possible.

Cleaning Tables

Cleaning surfaces is a common job our students complete in a variety of settings.  Typically, we have students use a spray bottle to spray the surface and then use a rag to wipe the surface clean.  Depending on the setting, we may have an expectation for the student to complete a certain amount of tables before the job is complete.  It can sometimes be hard for a student to understand the concept of cleaning a surface if there is no visible dirt on the surface to clean.  One way we can teach that is by taking a dry erase marker and drawing on the surface, therefore giving a concrete visual cue for the student to clean.  Additionally, there are some simple ways we can adapt this task to facilitate independence.  For example, the spray bottle may be too difficult for the student to independently squeeze.  In that case, maybe the student can instead utilize a cleaning wipe.  The task can still be completed, but it reduces the motor demand therefore increasing independence.  


Shredding is a versatile job that many of our students enjoy and can complete with a high level of independence.  When thinking about the setup of this job, some students can utilize a traditional shredder.  Some may be able to complete the full setup of the paper, including removing staples, however others may need assistance to do that.  Depending on the shredder, I have found that using a piece of brightly colored tape by the space where the paper should be inserted can be helpful for the student to see exactly where it needs to go.  Additionally, if the paper is too thin, folding it in half to make it sturdier allows it to be inserted into the shredder easily. You can incorporate communication into this job by having the student ask for more paper to shred (don’t just automatically give them more to do when they run out!). We also have a shredder hooked up to a switch interface.  This is an awesome option for students with decreased motor skills, as it allows them to independently participate in the job by accessing the switch which activates the shredder.  Check out the video below to see how we set this up!

Folding Laundry

Folding laundry is another job that we can complete in a variety of settings.  There are some easy ways to adapt this task so that many students can participate.  Smaller hand towels will be easier to fold than large towels or shirts and could be a good place to start teaching this skill.  My students benefit from some clear visual cues, including an example of what a folded towel looks like as well as a clear visual place to put the folded towels.  Check out the video below for a quick and easy way you can set up that structure.

I hope this post gave you some ideas for ways to set up or adapt your on campus jobs to increase independence and participation for your learners.  What are some of your favorite on campus jobs?


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