Begin with Career Interest Assessment
Career Exploration class begins with students taking an on-line career interest assessment which generates a profile based on answers to questions regarding individual preferences. Students are able to look at the interests satisfied by careers and compare them to their own interests.
The O*Net Interest Profiler is a free online career interest survey.
Use Transition Curricula to Identify Goals and Activities
By Wendy Bridgeo, Beth Caruso, Linde D'Andrea, Denise Fitzgerald, Steve Fox, Christa Gicklhorn, Cathy Mills, Susan Summersby, and Mary Zatta
This curriculum was developed for students ages 3 to 22 who are blind or visually impaired, including those students who have additional disabilities or are deafblind. The focus is on the development of life and career goals that enable student to maximize independence, self-determination, employability, and participation in the community.
The curriculum provides teachers with goals, objectives and activities in the following content areas: work skills, organizational skills, self-advocacy skills, personal care/daily living skills, employment, and secondary education. The curriculum articulates the importance of beginning instruction on foundation skills in these content areas at a young age for students with visual impairments to ensure that they develop the concepts necessary to navigate the world around them. Includes CD of curriculum assessment tool for students ages 3-22.
By Wendy Bridgeo, Christa Gicklhorn, and Mary Zatta
This practical guide focuses on developing meaningful vocation activities & transition portfolios for students with significant disabilities. Includes sample forms to create work portfolios that focus on three areas: the Individual’s Perspective, Personal Information and Vocational Experiences.
Visit Various Job Sites and Meet with Adult Service Agencies
Trips into the community allow students to “shadow” employees at various jobs; students visit job sites where blind and visually impaired individuals work and learn about accommodations and other important aspects of those jobs. Speakers from training programs offer advice on education, networking and finding employment. Adult agencies such as the Commission for the blind bring information about their role in assisting students to achieve their educational and career related goals. Students benefit from learning about laws/regulations pertaining to employees’ rights, accessibility requirements, and importance of self-advocacy.
Develop Career Options Using These Effective Strategies
The following overall strategies are effective in helping students who are blind or visually impaired to develop knowledge of career options:
- Create opportunities for students to meet and exchange ideas with adult with similar profile.
- Generate a list of questions prior to meeting a potential mentor, focus on quality of life indicators such as social involvement, job satisfaction and positive work experiences.
- Update career interest assessment as student has additional experiences that allow him/her to make informed choices.
- Encourage students to step out of their “comfort zone” to explore potential jobs less familiar to them.
- Discuss importance of entry level positions as stepping stone to more advanced careers.
- Research the training and education necessary to obtain jobs on their list of preferred careers.
- Encourage students to create realistic plans based on what they have learned from the research.