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Effects of Behavioral Skills Training  on Safe Eating and Drinking Practices

The Impact of Online Training in a Behavioral Skills Training model on Direct Support Professionals’ Implementation of Safe Eating and Drinking Practices with Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities


This study will investigate whether online training paired with coaching sessions can properly prepare DSPs to implement safe eating and drinking practices.


Accidental deaths resulting from choking is an increased concern to facilities and service providers of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The solution is prevention by providing staff training programs on modified diets, identifying risks and responding to those risks. We are also interested in investigating online training within a Behavioral Skills Training Framework and understand what training activities need to occur to get sustained behavior change


Behavioral Skills Training (BST) is an established four-step process for teaching job skills to staff. These steps include 1. Providing instructions 2. Demonstrating the skill 3. Having the learner rehearse the skill 4) Providing feedback to the learner (Buck, 2014). Online Learning can provide an alternative for the first two steps in an efficient and cost effective way. Our hypothesis is that online training combined with retention checks (Brain Sparks) and a coaching session will increase staff’s ability to identify and respond to dangerous situations when presented meals as demonstrated by a pre and posttest, and follow-up assessment after 60 days. A control group will only complete the first two steps of BST on Relias Learning and then will be compared to the experimental group.