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Career Exploration

Like any other job seekers, business and community research can help an individual with a disability learn what types of jobs are available (and not available), areas of growth, and who the areas biggest employers are. Research on specific professions and employers can help to plan a job search and identify business contacts. The tools of Americas Workforce Network available at One-Stop Centers, and online, can be an excellent starting point including Americas Career InfoNet, and O*NET Online, described above.

Besides the tools of Americas Workforce Network, One-Stop Center are likely to have other information sources in their resource library. Sources for information include:

  • annual reports
  • business publications
  • newspapers
  • directly contacting the employer for an information packet.

The advent of the internet has made collecting such information much easier, and its recommended that the world wide web be used as the starting point for such research. The Career Resource Library of Americas Career InfoNet provides links to other internet based resources.

Experiential Methods
While these can be good starting points, activities that expose individuals to the realities, dynamics, and idiosyncrasies of real work environments can be invaluable. Also, due to a variety of issues (limited life experience, cognitive limitations, etc.), standard assessment tools do not always fully or accurately reflect the interests and capabilities of many people with disabilities.

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