Teaching Cafe Waiter Skills to Adults with Intellectual Disability: A Real Setting Study

Cavkaytar A.

EDUCATION AND TRAINING IN AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, vol.47, no.4, pp.426-437, 2012 (SSCI) identifier identifier


The purpose of the study was to examine effectiveness of the Cafe Waiter Education Program by providing the least prompting to three adult subjects with intellectual disability in a real-life setting. A multiple probe research design across subjects was used. Cafe waiter skills included five main tasks incorporating 125 skill steps. Task analysis was developed by a professional Cafe waiter, the Cafe manager, a doctoral student in special education, and the principal investigator. The skill steps were tested with a study sample. Ordering and dishing up menu items, serving, and cleaning up were taught through training and maintenance sessions. The research setting was a special training area in the cafe. Generalization and follow-up were studied in an actual Cafe with paying customers. Generalization sessions were conducted at the end of the training sessions; generalization and follow up sessions were designed as probe sessions. For each probe session, data collection was accomplished with a single opportunity method. Correct responses were reinforced during all sessions. Incorrect responses resulted in error correction during training sessions and were ignored during probe, generalization and maintenance sessions. Findings suggested that the Cafe Waiter Education Program was effective when carried out using the least prompting in real settings for adults with intellectual disability.