Guidance & Exploration
Alston, R. J., Bell, T., & Hampton,
J. (2002). Learning disability and career entry into the sciences:
A critical analysis of attitudinal factors. Journal of Career Development, 28(4),
This study explores perceptions and attitudes
held by parents and teachers of students with learning disabilities
(LD) about the students’ ability
to succeed in science and engineering fields. The authors express concern
that students with LD are being “weeded out” of science
and engineering majors, largely due to a lack
of accurate information about learning disabilities among parents,
teachers, counselors, and potential employers. Misperceptions are often
exacerbated by the lack of a standard definition of learning disabilities.
Moreover, many parents believe that teachers are unwilling to provide
accommodations, while many teachers believe that students with LD will
lack adequate academic preparation. Many parents, and to a lesser extent,
teachers, also believe that employers in these fields will be less
likely to hire students with LD upon graduation. The article concludes
with specific recommendations for guidance counselors to address these
issues. They call for partnerships between guidance counselors and
individuals with disabilities who are successful in these fields, to
provide workshops for parents, teachers, and potential employers of
students with LD. They also suggest that vocational rehabilitation
counselors partner more closely with potential employers to provide
job shadowing and internship opportunities.
Flores, L. Y., & Heppner, M. J. (2002). Multicultural
career counseling: Ten essentials for training. Journal of Career Development,
This article includes a review of
career guidance issues for students of color and provides resources
and strategies for improving cultural competency of career guidance
counselors. It notes that “underutilization” of
career services by students of color may be linked to “poorly
trained career counselors and culturally biased practices and techniques” (Atkinson,
Jennings, & Liongson, 1990, p. 182; Leong, Wagner, & Tata,
1995). The authors critique Eurocentric tenets framing the theory,
research, and practice of career counseling, and call for a more inclusive
and accurate re-conceptualization. “These tenets include (a)
individualism and autonomy, (b) affluence, (c) the structure of opportunity
being open to all, (d) the centrality of work in people’s lives,
and (e) the linearity, progressiveness, and rationality of the career
development process” (Atkinson et al., 1990, p. 182). In addition
to cultural competencies regarding career-specific
behaviors and practices, the authors underscore the importance of understanding
racial identity development and acculturation as they relate to career
choices. Although the primary audience of the article is vocational
counseling professionals and those who train them, both the critique
and the recommended strategies provide important insights into key
needs, issues, and rights for students of color with and without disabilities.
Gates, L. (2000). Workplace accommodation as a social process. Journal
of Occupational Rehabilitation, 10(1), 85–98.
This article explores social and relational factors in the workplace
as key components to successful integration of workplace accommodations.
These include more extensive disclosure of the disability, the role
of the supervisor, education of coworkers, and increased role of support
personnel where relevant. The author contends that this approach can
improve workplace morale and individual self-esteem as well as positively
impact job performance, job satisfaction, work retention, and productivity.
Generalizability of the results is limited by the sample size and population
in the study, however, the article raises important questions and offers
sample interventions that may have broader application.
Sax, C., Noyes, D., & Fisher, D. (2001, September). High
school inclusion plus seamless transition equals desired outcomes:
A brief report. TASH Connections, Newsletter of the Association of
Severe Handicaps, 27.
This study considers the employment
outcomes for students with significant disabilities who have access
to inclusive education and seamless transition. Thirty-three students
with disabilities attending high school in a medium-sized southern
California district and who met the definition of “severe disability” provided
information on employment outcomes one week after exiting high school
and again two months later. Results suggest that the six target
students who had been given access to inclusive education and seamless
transition (i.e., no disruption in services from school environment
to adult environment) did benefit in terms of employment outcomes
(e.g., average wages, hours per week worked, and job variety).
Yang, E., Wong, S. C., Hwang, M-h., & Heppner, M. J. (2002).
Widening our global view: The development
of career counseling services for international
of Career Development, 28(3),
Recognizing that international students (with and without disabilities)
have both shared and unique career guidance needs, the authors review
one model of career services exclusively for international students.
The Career Center at the University of Missouri, Columbia, is highlighted,
as are the components necessary to meet the needs of this student population.
These include information about graduate schools and entrance examination
practices, language and cultural barriers, available employment opportunities,
work permit policies, other legal requirements, specific skills for obtaining
work experiences in the U.S., and career assessments. In addition to
specific content and strategies, the authors address underlying issues
such as the need to go beyond equal services, the importance of not homogenizing
international students from diverse backgrounds, and the importance of
placing career services within a cultural context. Although the primary
audience of this article is career guidance practitioners, international
students and their families may find it helpful in identifying and seeking
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