Guidance & Exploration
Planning Begins with Assessment: A Guide for Professionals Serving
Youth with Educational and Career Development Challenges (May
This guide serves as a resource for multiple audiences within the workforce development
system helping adolescents and young adults transition from school to adult life
and the world of work. Youth service practitioners will find information on selecting
career-related assessments, determining when to refer youth for additional assessment,
and additional issues such as accommodations, legal issues, and ethical considerations.
Administrators and policymakers will find information on developing practical
and effective policies, collaboration among programs, and interagency assessment
Guidance and Career Counselors’ Toolkit: Advising High School Students with Disabilities on Postsecondary Options (March 2006)
This toolkit from the HEATH Resource Center at The George Washington University is intended to help guidance and career counselors better assist high school students with disabilities as they transition from high school into postsecondary education and employment. It includes tools for counseling students with disabilities as well as information on services and strategies for students with disabilities; college, career, and other postsecondary options; and procedural concerns for successful transitions. Available in PDF (192 pages, 1.3 MB).
How to: Build Partnerships for Career Exploration – Using Job Shadows to Explore the World of Work (September 2010)
The Monadnock Center for Successful Transitions has released “How to: Build Partnerships for Career Exploration – Using Job Shadows to Explore the World of Work.” This guide is written for high schools that want to collaborate with a postsecondary institution or other organization to plan and carry out a job shadow day. The guide describes the preparation tasks that take place at the high school and those that take place at partner sites, provides details for the job shadow day itself and follow-up activities, and includes a suggested task timeline that may be helpful as a planning tool.
Internships: The On-Ramp to Employment: A Guide for Students with Disabilities to Getting and Making the Most of an Internship (2010)
Completing an internship can help young people with and without disabilities prepare for their career field of choice. In “Internships: The On-Ramp to Employment, A Guide for Students with Disabilities to Getting and Making the Most of an Internship,” the National Consortium on Leadership & Disability for Youth guides youth through the steps of finding, applying for, participating in, and evaluating an internship. Topics covered include activities focused on career exploration, interview and resume building, goal setting, networking, as well as information and tips for youth with disabilities on finding accessible housing, navigating the transportation system, disclosing a disability, and employing a personal care attendant.
Teaching Networking Skills: Paving a Way to Jobs and Careers (August 2008)
This curriculum is designed for professionals working with school-to-work transition-age youth; however, it has broad applicability to others with limited work experience. Its goal is to help job seekers become engaged in career and job exploration through networking. The curriculum gives students opportunities to practice and use networking skills such as: identifying their own network, approaching people, talking about their skills and interests, learning what employers look for, exploring careers and job options, and exhibiting good business etiquette. Activities within the manual vary to accommodate diverse learning styles, and trainers can select lessons that fit the needs of their groups.
Using Career Interest Inventories to Inform Career Planning (September 2011)
The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) has issued “Using Career Interest Inventories to Inform Career Planning,” a Practice Brief describing the strategies and resources used by several successful youth programs to conduct career interest inventories with youth. Career interest inventories are a used tool for self-exploration. Engaging youth in self-exploration – the process of learning to identify their skills, interests, and values and how they could be used in various careers – is a critical step in the career development process for all young people, including youth with disabilities.
Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT)
of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), is a membership
organization for persons and families interested in career
and vocational issues for students with disabilities. This
Web site includes a message board, a variety of publications
and resources about career exploration and employment, including
DCDT journals and briefs, conferences and news, and an array
of additional member benefits for those who wish to join
ISEEK, the Internet System for Education and Employment Knowledge, is a Web-based
gateway to Minnesota career, employment, education, and business development
information and services. The four central areas in this site are: explore
careers, plan your education, find a job, and grow
your business. Although the site is specific to Minnesota, it can be a
useful starting point for those in other areas to conceptualize and organize
similar searches. Similarly, the site focuses on general employment and career
issues, and the disability-specific information is more focused on community
resources and disability studies courses.
Job Accommodation Network
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is a free consulting service from the Office
of Disability Policy, U.S. Department of Labor that provides information about
job accommodations, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the employability
of people with disabilities. JAN represents the most comprehensive resource for
job accommodations available. The site provides portals for specific audiences,
and offers free publications on a wide range of accommodation ideas and resources,
organized by both disability and setting. Listings include term definitions,
specific strategies, examples of how accommodations have been implemented, and
Labor Market Information
This California Department of Labor
site can serve as a model for discussing local
work force investment partners interested in
planning and implementing regional career ladder
programs. The California Cooperative Occupational
Information System (CCOIS) is a partnership of
state and local agencies that produces local
occupational and labor market information. It
includes links to labor market information by
geography and publics/groups as well as career
Learn How to Become
What is a career? While many people use the words “job” and “career” interchangeably, the two have very different meanings. Throughout your life, you may hold various jobs starting, perhaps starting when you are in high school or earlier. Typically, people pursue just one career. A career is a journey, and something you will be committed to in the long term. It consists of different steps and, ideally, it is something that you feel is your calling. If you are a student ready to begin your higher education, or have held many different jobs and want to know how to make the switch to doing what you love, this career guide will be a great resource.
O*NET, the Occupational Information Network, is an easy-to-use database that
contains comprehensive information on job requirements and worker competencies.
O*NET offers a more dynamic framework for exploring the world of work, including
O*NET Career Exploration and Assessment Tools, the O*NET Interest Profiler, and
the O*NET Work Importance Locator. Find occupations, get snapshots and details,
and use the fully functional and interactive O*NET online application.
PACER Resources on Preparing for Employment
This Web page from PACER Center's Web site provides links to resources on preparing for employment as well as other career-related resources.
The Person-Centered Planning Education Site
Person-centered planning is an individualized and empowering approach to educational, life, and career planning for people with disabilities. Through skill development and resource training, it places practitioners in a secondary role and enables people with disabilities to direct and tailor their own plans. In this site, you will find: an overview of the person-centered planning process, a catalog of self-study courses covering the basic process involved, a quiz section to help you focus on areas you may need to cover more thoroughly, a compendium of readings and activities for you to use on your own, and various links and downloadable resources for each course. This site is part of the Program on Employment and Disability (PED) at Cornell.
Worksupport.com is a Web site of the Virginia Commonwealth University Rehabilitation
Research & Training Center, whose purpose is to identify factors that enhance
or inhibit businesses from tapping into a pool of potential employees (people
with disabilities). Resources on employment and disabilities, information on
research, and a description of VCU-RRTC projects can be found at this site. Also
included is information on accommodations, workforce training, law and policy,
disability management, and job searches.
Job-Search Web Sites
The Multicultural Advantage
An excellent, comprehensive job-search site for people of color, with and without disabilities. Provides a range of articles on career issues for people of color.
This site includes job search engines, articles, and advice on such things are writing résumés and going to interviews. It also has a useful list of job profiles that include descriptions of duties and qualifications covering many jobs, from actors to zookeepers. MonsterTRAK.com, an area of this site dedicated to college students, includes further job search capabilities and preparation resources, including scholarships and a “major-to-career converter.” By registering (at no cost) on the site, job-seekers can also post their résumé, request daily e-mails of job listings in areas of their choice, and/or post a networking profile that can be viewed by prospective employers. See also Monster.com Career Advice.
A federal-state partnership, CareerOneStop is a collection of user-friendly electronic tools offering a unique solution to demands of today’s labor market from the perspective of the job seeker, the employer, and the work force community. Tools include America’s Job Bank, America’s Career InfoNet, and America's Service Locator. Resources include information on options for work and learning, job skills, financial assistance for education/training, and job-search resources and services.
National Business & Disability Council (NBDC): Job Seekers Services
NBDC is a leading resource for employers seeking to integrate people with disabilities into the workplace and for companies seeking to reach them in the consumer marketplace. Students have access to (1) the NBDC National Résumé Database®, used by employers to recruit individuals with disabilities for positions in their organizations; (2) job posting pages of NBDC members, Fortune 1000 companies, and federal agencies committed to diversity in the workplace; (3) NBDC yellow pages listing local recruitment for people with disabilities; (4) career events; and (5) internship/targeted recruitment opportunities available to students and graduates with disabilities.
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