Direct Skills Teaching of Work-Related Conversational Skills for Individuals With Disabilities

Weili Lu, Janice D. Oursler, Samantha J. Herrick, Alison C. Durante, Crystal V. Socha, Gabrielle M. Crisafulli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Work-related soft skills such as cultural awareness and effective communication, along with cognitive factors, influence success in school and in the workplace. This pilot study evaluated the feasibility of a small group intervention using the direct skills teaching (DST) approach to teach basic conversational skills in a work setting. A four-session group intervention using the “Conversing With Others” curriculum based on the DST approach was delivered to 146 participants in 22 groups by graduate counseling students. Participants reported greater confidence with engaging a coworker in conversation as well as high satisfaction with the group intervention in general. This pilot study provided data on the feasibility of this intervention and supported its use as a pedagogical tool for counselors-in-training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-244
Number of pages10
JournalRehabilitation Counseling Bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rehabilitation
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • direct skills teaching
  • disability
  • employment
  • small talk
  • soft skills


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