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Goodwill Program Highlight: Transition Work Adjustment Training



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

The students tossed a ball with conversation topics on it. Whichever topic their thumb landed on, is the subject they started a discussion about with their classmates. The scenario given to them today by their instructor was – In The Break Room At Work. The students practiced different topics suitable for work. Their Goodwill instructor, Gary, 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. 



Then the lights dimmed and the projector screen lowered as the students worked through an online module of appropriate communication with your boss. This interactive video introduced a new employee who was unhappy with the silly uniform her boss asked her to wear at work. The Goodwill instructor clicked through three video clips of interactions between the employee and her boss. Then the students had to choose the clip that is most appropriate for work and discuss why.

“I like the video modules we do in class the most,” Billy said. “Because it teaches body language and tone.”


Next the students worked through a worksheet as they took turns role playing the various work situations. The Employer, played by Smith, was typing at his desk when the employee, played by Daniel, walked in asking to leave work early. Smith politely declined Daniel’s request by stating they were understaffed and needed him to stay. Daniel played out what to do and then a second time for what not to do.



The students eagerly volunteered 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.” 


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