IEP Components - Vocational Assessment and Its Role In Career Planning

This issue of NASET’s IEP Component series was written by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability and discusses career planning and vocational assessment for transition-age youth. Many youth with disabilities have not had the same opportunities as their non-disabled peers in terms of exposure to career preparation options. In the past, the career planning process for youth with disabilities often did not reflect the values of choice and self-determination. Many youth with disabilities were relegated to passive roles in their own career planning process. As a result, many youth have not had the opportunity to pursue career options that they found motivating and satisfying. Today, vocational programs for youth in transition focus on the skills, knowledge, and abilities that youth can contribute to the work place. A large part of this effort lies in accurately identifying a youth's assets and sharing this information with the youth and those who work with him or her. Many young people leave high school uncertain of their interests and abilities and unprepared to choose or pursue a career. Effective career planning and assessment for transition-age youth allows them to consider multiple options, act with self-advocacy, bridge academic and career plans, and equip themselves with critical information (Borgen & Amundsen, 1995). Career planning and assessment focuses on four distinct domains: (1) Academic; (2) Psychological; (3) Medical; and (4) Vocational

This paper focuses on the “vocational domain” and how assessment activities support career related activities.


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