Community Based Instruction
CBI is an effective instructional method for teaching, in real-life settings and under the supervision of educators, the skills that students will need for functional daily living as productive adults, CBI has been documented as an evidence-based practice by the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center and is defined as community instruction that a student receives that is specific to consumer needs involving: recreational/leisure, vocational, and employment experiences, with appropriate objectives that have goals with benchmarks of instructional value.
In the short term, CBI helps students develop age-appropriate skills for functioning outside the school environment. Ultimately, CBI prepares students for successful transition to adulthood after graduation, helps students to live independently, and enhances their quality of life.
CBI programs are hands-on and implemented during trips to community locations. A critical component of CBI is the involvement of parents and other members of the community such as businesses, teachers, and local establishments.
CBI is individualized to meet the particular needs of a student and to teach skills which relate to specific IEP goals/objectives.
Academic, communication, and social skills are incorporated into CBI and may include the following:
- Advocating for oneself
- Purchasing groceries
- Balancing a checkbook
- Doing laundry
- Using the public library
- Locating, carrying, and/or purchasing items in stores
- Utilizing public transportation
- Attending community events
- Ordering food in a restaurant
- Identifying potential employers through site visits
- Job & employability skills training (C.B.V.E.)
Here at Alden Road ESC School, our students focus on the following domains:
- Domestic—self-care and grooming, wellness, nutrition, cooking, laundry, housekeeping, etc.
- Vocational—career exploration, employability skills, following instructions, rules, schedules, etc.
- Community—transportation, shopping, restaurants, libraries, post office, etc.
- Recreation and Leisure—crafts, games, parks, bowling, movies, amusement parks, etc.
Benefits of Community Based Instruction:
- CBI benefits students, parents and caregivers, educational staff, and the community!
- Some of the benefits include
- Students increase age-appropriate behaviors for work and community settings, independence and mobility, and the ability to generalize skills and knowledge to new situations
- Parents & Caregivers increase commitment, communication, cooperation, and participation in planning, programming, and skills identification
- Educational staff increase creativity, commitment, communication, and motivation
- Communities increase awareness of the potential of individuals with disabilities and school/private sector partnerships