Off-campus WSU users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your WSU access ID and password, then click the "Off-campus Download" button below.

Non-WSU users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Michael Peterson


Assessing the learning style preferences of adult workers (consumers) with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities and accommodating the consumer's learning style preference during the job training process is a critical feature of quality supported employment services and an under-explored area of applied research. However, before evaluating the effects of learning style preferences on job training outcomes, consumers must first demonstrate the skills to express learning preferences. This research sought to demonstrate a method of assessing the learning style preference of consumers with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities and to investigate which of two instructional interventions, when matched with the consumers preferred learning style, would have the greatest impact on consumer job performance. Three independent variables were included in this study: (1) the consumer's learning style preference, (2) auditory instructional cues, and (3) visual instructional cues. The dependent variable was the accuracy of job task performance for each consumer under the alternating instructional interventions. Four participants participated in the exploratory phase (phase I) of the study and three participants participated in the empirical phase (phase II) of the study. Phase I involved a descriptive analysis. Consumer learning style was assessed utilizing the Learning Style Inventory-Primary (Perrin, 1991), which was modified for use with the participant group. Phase II involved single-subject research design principles. Specifically, an alternating treatment withdrawal design was utilized to determine which instructional strategy (auditory or visual cues) when matched with the consumer's preferred learning style, had the greatest impact on the dependent variable. An Independent t-Test and a Helmert Contrast were used to determine statistical significance between conditions. An alpha level of .05 was set for determining significance. Results indicate that learning style preferences for consumers with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities can be reliably assessed. Analysis of the data indicated that there was a significant difference in the effect of the two instructional interventions on consumer job performance. When the instructional intervention was congruent with the consumer's learning style, the greater the improvement in job performance. When the intervention was incongruent to the consumer's preferred learning style, a lesser degree of improved job performance would result.

Off-campus Download