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Understanding One's Disability Can Lead to Success for Youth Seeking Jobs

Article Summary:

While support from parents is fundamental throughout the special education system, it is important to remember "the goal of the system is to prepare our sons and daughters for success after they have completed school" (Leuchouius & Fager, 2004). This article outlines reasons for self-efficacy in order for individuals to be successful in the workplace. The article maintains that "understanding one's self, one's strengths, and one's needs is key to becoming an effective self advocate and essential to postsecondary education and employment success" (Leuchouius & Fager, 2004). The main reason, set forth by this article, for understanding one's disability is for youth to feel comfortable talking about their disabilities and the accommodation needs to prepare them for disclosing to future employers.

This article briefly considers some of the issues surrounding disclosure of disabilities to employers and some practical steps parents of individuals with disabilities can take to promote self-awareness to prepare their sons and daughters for these situations. Some of these suggestions include:

  • Develop disclosure and accommodation needs skills over time and build these skills into the Individual Education Program (IEP) goals.
  • Advocate for self determination skills to be taught in the school system.
  • Create an atmosphere at home that allows for open discussion of their disability and related accommodation needs.
  • Help the individual identify someone outside of the family to talk with, such as other young adults with disabilities or with adult role models with disabilities.

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Leuchovius, D. & Fager, S. (2004). Understanding One's Disability can lead to Success for Youth Seeking Jobs. Pacesetter, 27:1, 14-15.