Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling

First Advisor

Dr. Sally Shepley


In this study, unknown questions were posed to four high school students with intellectual disabilities, and they were directed to use intelligent voice assistants to mand for the answers. This self-instruction skill was taught using progressive time delay within a multiple probe across participants design with embedded generalization probes. Participants were trained to initiate Siri® or Google Assistant™ before baseline sessions were conducted. The effectiveness of progressive time delay to teach this skill was evaluated when questions were presented by research implementers and when presented by untrained communication partners. Implementers exposed participants to additional voice commands at the end of progressive time delay sessions to assess if the participants would learn nontarget commands incidentally after being taught to mand for information with the intelligent voice assistants. The results indicate that progressive time delay is an effective method for teaching adolescents with intellectual disabilities to self-instruct with intelligent voice assistants, however modifications may be needed to ensure that the skill generalizes when presented with an unknown question by an indigenous communication partner. The results suggest that learning to self-instruct and being exposed to other intelligent voice assistant skills may lead to the acquisition of additional untrained voice commands.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)