Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Lindstrom, L., Kahn, L. G., & Lindsey, H. (2013). Navigating the early career years: Barriers and strategies for young adults with disabilities. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 39 (1), 1-12.
Title:  Navigating the early career years: Barriers and strategies for young adults with disabilities
Authors:  Lindstrom, L., Kahn, L. G., & Lindsey, H.
Year:  2013
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Publisher:  IOS Press
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-130637
Research summary:  https://projecte3.com/vocational-rehabilitation-strategiess/
Full text:  http://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-vocational-rehabili...   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Not reported
Research design:  Literature review

Structured abstract:

Background:  Obstacles are faced by young adults with disabilities as they transition from high school to the workplace. These obstacles include barriers in the workplace, limited access to high wage/high skill employment opportunities, and a lack of opportunity for job retention or advancement. In comparison to their non-disabled peers, young adults with disabilities are more likely to be unemployed, underemployed, or living below the poverty line. These obstacles faced by young adults with disabilities are occurring even with a national focus on the creation of school to work programs to improve their employment outlook.
Purpose:  The aim of this literature review is to look at the process of vocational development for young adults with disabilities as they start working. Strategies for vocational rehabilitation counselors will also be noted in order to promote career advancement for young adults with disabilities.
Data collection and analysis:  Online databases Academic Search Premier, ERIC, and PsychInfo were used in this literature review. When searching these databases, the researchers used key words including: disabilities, emerging adulthood, young adults, career advancement, vocational development, and early career. All articles used in this literature review had to meet the following requirements: published in or after the year 2000 in a peer reviewed journal; and the process, obstacles, or strategies for young adults with disabilities entering employment must be addressed in the article findings.
Findings:  The findings of this literature review determined that there are numerous obstacles faced by young adults with disabilities. These obstacles include: a lack of job experience; irregular patterns of early work; access to postsecondary education and training was limited; and prejudice and discrimination existing in the workplace. Strategies to increase early job development were found. These strategies are: developing individual characteristics and skills; widening the range of jobs to consider; creating opportunities for initial job experiences; securing postsecondary education or training; providing assistance to promote job advancement; and advocating changes within the workplace.
Conclusions:  The findings of this literature review were that vocational rehabilitation counselors can use and ecological framework to have an effect on individual skills, create opportunities for training, and improve the job environment for individuals with disabilities. Using this ecological framework, the rehabilitation counselors can assist individuals with disabilities gain equal access to job opportunities and as a result become economically independent and stable. Recommendations for the direction of future research, based on this literature review are: more longitudinal research on patterns of career development for individuals for disabilities, as well as the development and testing of specific interventions in employment skills for individuals with disabilities. These skills include problem solving, goal setting, and self-advocacy.

Populations served:  Post-secondary
Transition-age youth (14 - 24)