Career Planning For Adults With Hidden Disabilities
Young Adults with Hidden Disabilities and the Challenges They Face in Career Planning The Meaning and Importance of Personal Values in Determining Career Direction Rob Crawford & LDI student samples 2008
Career Planning For Adults With Hidden Disabilities
This presentation links the importance of identifying personal passions and doing what matters most in life with career planning processes. It specifically addresses these issues for adults with hidden disabilities, but is applicable for anyone who is interested in making an informed career decision.
Text of Career Planning For Adults With Hidden Disabilities
Young Adults with Hidden Disabilities and the Challenges They
Face in Career Planning The Meaning and Importance of Personal
Values in Determining Career Direction Rob Crawford & LDI
student samples 2008
Presentation Disclaimer Crawford 2008
There is a dramatic employment and poverty gap between
working-age people with disabilities and those without disabilities
The Third Annual Disability Status Report reveals:
38 % of people with disabilities are employed vs. 80 %of people
There are 22.3 million people with disabilities of working age
(21-64), which is 13 percent of the total working-age
The researchers also found that Americans with disabilities are
more than twice as likely to live in poverty:
25.4 % of working-age Americans with disabilities live in
poverty compared with 9.5 % of those without disabilities.
People with disabilities constitute 28 % of the working-age
American population living in poverty.
Cornell University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center
on Disability Demographics and Statistics (StatsRRTC), funded by
the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research,
Employer reported skills/qualities needed for successful
employment: whats missing ?
86% - verbal communication skills
77% - interpersonal skills
62% - math skills
59% - written communication
52% - basic business skills
46% - financial accounting
43% - mechanical ability
41% - computer skills
18% - Internet knowledge
18% - science
Small business owners in the "Voices from Main Street: Assessing
the State of Small Business Workforce Skills, American Express,
2001 Crawford 2008
Top Employer Concerns about Entry-Level Employees
59.1% of employers stated poor basic employability skills
(attendance, timeliness, work ethic, etc.);
32.4% poor reading/writing skills;
26.2% inadequate math skills;
25.0% an inability to communicate;
23.7% poor English language skills;
22.1% an inability to read and translate drawings/diagrams/flow
22.0% an inability to work in a team environment; and
12.3% poor computer/technical skills.
The National Association of Manufacturers 2001 members' survey
asked employers about the most serious skill deficiencies of
current hourly production employees .
Employment Statistics for Youth Out of School > 1 yr (NLTS2
Wave 3, 2005) Condition LD ED OHI Autism Employed 62% 42% 65% 37%
Fired in last 2 yr 19% 30% 19% 21% Disclosed condition before hired
8% 15% 17% 54% Disclosed condition after hired 0% 2% 5% 9%
What does the research suggest is the impact to adults with
Many lacked clear understanding of their disability and its
impact on career choices and ability to perform a job (Hitchings
and Retish 2000).
Restricted early opportunities, dependence on family, and
experiences of academic failure may lead to low self-esteem and
limited self-knowledge (Michaels 1997).
Type and severity of disability, amount of time spent on
remediation, parental over protectiveness, and low expectations may
limit opportunities for career exploration (Hitchings and Retish
Adolescents with LD were more likely to limit their educational
and occupational aspirations; aspirations for postsecondary
education did not necessarily translate into comparable
occupational aspirations (Rojewski 1996).
Many youth with LD had unrealistic career ambitions or no
ambitions. ( Kortering and Braziel 2000).
Not all who were eligible were involved in comprehensive
transition planning in high school (Hitchings and Retish
What is the employment status of adults with ASD?
Most adults with ASD report ongoing problems finding and
maintaining jobs (Goode et al., 1994; Howlin, 2000; Lord &
Venter, 1992; Nesbitt, 2000)
Many continue to experience unemployment and underemployment as
a result of their difficulties understanding and responding
appropriately to the social demands of the workplace (Nesbitt,
Only 6% of all people in the UK with an ASD have full-time paid
employment, and only 12% of those with high-functioning autism or
Aspergers syndrome had full-time jobs (Barnard et al, 2001) .
Common barriers to success: Clinical/practitioner view
Lack of social maturity
Unaware of personal limitations
Use of circular logic and rationalization
Retreating when successful
Difficulty with training because of inability to perform
Inability to distinguish aspects of the job and environment
that are controllable from those that are not
Time & Place: Why executive functioning skills are
important Crawford 2008
Psychological Factors for LD/ADHD
Moody, quick tempered, easily frustrated
Misunderstands facial expressions
Makes literal interpretations of what is said
Finds it difficult to sit down to read or write
Takes too long to organize thoughts
Feels/believes self to be lazy, stupid, humiliated by
Psychological Factors for ASD
Stress, frustration and anger reaction to change or
Struggle to take initiative
Higher anxiety levels particularly when meeting new people or
encountering change or new situations
Abrupt manner in expressing thoughts, ideas, or opinions
Single-mindedness, unwilling to see the viewpoint of
Feeling Worthless: Perspective of the adult with the condition
Having been fired from all your jobs
Only being able to obtain entry level jobs
Inability to mix well with people on the job
Disclosure of disability not received well
Job interviewing skills are poor due to nervousness and
Difficulty maintaining focus on the job thus forgetting things
Often disorganized not being able to find things quickly and
observed as a poor performer.
What it feels like to live with a hidden disability Crawford
Career planning: More than just getting a job
The interrelationship of personal and career problems becomes
more apparent in the lives of adults (with hidden disabilities) as
Experience changes in work environments
Difficulties associated with other life roles
Changing work requirements
Concerns of older adults
Changing values and interests (Super, 1993)
Jumping and Leaping
Impulsive job acceptance
Training in career that is not suited to skills
Belief that the ADA will protect you
The environment doesnt matter so long as the boss is
I have medication now it will take care of everything
The last job was just my boss, things will be different in the
next job no matter what
Job Misery Epidemic
77% of Americans hate their jobs
87% dont like their jobs
The majority show up, but focus on where their next job will
Cost of Job Misery
Increased absenteeism and employee turnover
Loss of creativity and productivity
American employers had over $360 BILLION dollars each year in
A miserable job is not the same as a bad one
A bad job lies in the eye of the beholder
A miserable job makes a person cynical, frustrated &
It drains the enthusiasm, energy and self-esteem
Miserable jobs are found at all levels and fields of
What exactly is being in a miserable job mean to you?
Being in a job thats not what you expected, boring, and
Anything similar to the movie Office Space such as cubical
Being stuck in a routine where I am feeling unchallenged. If I
feel unchallenged or unappreciated, I am going to get depressed
What do you want your manager to know about you, your personal
dreams, and interests ?
I am eager and willing to learn new things. I lack patience,
but more than make up for that in persistence. I will get a job
done no matter what the task, and I work the hardest on things I
find interesting and enjoy.
I would like my manager to be appreciative towards my
individual needs as an employee. It would be nice if we were
friends, but as long as that respect aspect is there, anything else
that comes from the relationship with them would be a bonus.
That would depend if the manger was related to helping me on my
main career and if not; I dont see the point unless I develop a
friendship with them.
The 3 signs of being in a miserable job (Patrick Lencioni,
How does your job make a difference in the lives of others such
as customers, coworkers, and the boss?
It can cause either relief or stress, but it all depends on the
personality of the person it being at that time.
I like to find the best appropriate piece of equipment for each
customer that comes in there. I like to think when I am on the
sales floor, my boss doesnt have to worry about anything going
wrong that day. He has told me that I am one of the four people
they are strongly counting on for our department to perform on a
consistent basis every day, so it is nice to see that they
appreciate me there.
If I had a job as Vet Tech, Id make a difference in the
customers by providing optimal health procedures for the patients,
co-workers by making it easier for them to work with my assistance,
and boss by being cooperative and willing to take on tasks assigned
What are some specific ways you could be able to tell if you
are doing your job?
By the time it takes to get the job done and by the amount of
corrections the supervisor has to make.
We have set quotas we have to meet. I know if I am meeting my
quotas, I am doing an adequate job. The other way to tell is by the
percentage of returns a salesman gets. We have a salesman that is
really good at selling people on things, but the majority of his
sales come back and hurt him later. My products usually stay sold,
which is a good sign that customers get along with me and
appreciate my style.
If it was a matter of motivation, then I would find the job
easier and if it wasnt there, I wouldnt know why I asked for the
If the 3 signs of a miserable job are so obvious, why dont
managers do something about it?
They are under so much stress from the company they work for
that it rubs off on the people below them.
Because managers need someone to do the job, even if it is a
miserable one. Its not their position to make your life better, its
Usually managers have so much on their plate from the corporate
side and thats where the majority of the pressure comes from, so
they are less inclined to fix something until it figures into the
bottom line and they get issues about the problems from higher up
Perils of having a receptive language processing disorder
Defining the meaning, nature and importance of work
I want to find a career where I feel as though I make a
difference in the lives around me and enjoy doing that job to the
extent that work can be considered fun. If I take pleasure in my
work, I can take pleasure in life more as well. My attitude will
improve, I will have higher self-esteem, and I will be able to find
compassion for others.
Will you find meaning with work, through work, or in spite of
For me, work is a necessary evil that I have to do in order to
make money and come to terms with a world that I struggle with
every day to comprehend and assess rationally. The only meaning I
want to get from work is finding a career path and a job that
eventually pays me handsomely and challenges me to the point of
Will you find meaning with work, through work, or in spite of
I will find meaning in life through work. A career or job
should not just be something you do to make money; a job should
help you gain experience about the world around you, help you make
friends, better decisions, and give your life a more satisfying
edge. You should be able to go home each day and say to yourself,
Today I made a difference. be that difference big or small, if we
feel as though we made no impact at all, we begin to feel worthless
and unimportant. Our meaning in life should come in part from our
The Decision Problem Crawford 2008 Decision Problem What do I
need to do to start myself off on the path of becoming successful
in the field of animal services? Assumptions I will enjoy working
with animals I can handle the stress I want to be a vet tech
Triggers How do I choose a career? Will I be satisfied with my
choice? Will I burn out from the stress? How will I support myself?
Connections Choose a career that involves animals The stress will
keep me on my toes I can make a decent salary as a VT
Will you find meaning with work, through work, or in spite of
I do not want my career to be my whole life. Although it is my
goal to love what I do, there should be other aspects to life. The
key is to find the balance between work and leisure. My goal is to
find a career where I can fuel my creativity however I dont require
my friends to be creative or artistic. In fact, I prefer them to
have different interests. In this way. We are learning different
things from each other.
Decision Problem Crawford 2008 Decision Problems What steps do
I need to take to see if a career in film is right for me? Triggers
I know a lot about editing and filming I know people that work in
the industry My parents are supportive of me Assumptions I will
have to go to film school I will have to start as a gopher It may
take a long time to find a job Connections I will need to live in
LA I need a fall back plan The income will be small at first
Identifying Objectives as much art as science
Write down everything you hope to look for or accomplish
through your decision
Make a wish list
What do you want to avoid?
Impact on others in your life
Talk to others in similar situations
Develop idealistic alternatives
Look at the worst outcomes
How would you justify it?
Robs class requires a lonnng sequence of steps Crawford
What Matters Most?
Being in a stable environment
Having the means to support myself financially
Going to college and getting a degree
Effectively balance life and work
What is Being Happy?
Have a career I enjoy
Be with people I enjoy
Be in an environment I feel comfortable in
Make enough money to get by, possibly with more left over
Do something I feel I make a difference by doing
Wants and Needs of Being Happy
Having more than enough money to support myself and family and
Having enough time to do what I want when I want
Going on vacations
Having enough money to pay my bills
Having the time to do what I need to do
Taking breaks once in a while
Best and worst case scenarios of Being Happy
Enormously fulfilled by my chosen career
Make enough money to live comfortably
Make a large impact in the lives of others
Surrounded by people I work well with and care for.
Chose a career that I dont enjoy
Not make enough money to even pay bills
Not feel like I make any sort of impact
Feel unsatisfied with my life
Surrounded by people who either dont care about me or dislike
Family: Make the people who believe in me proud
Personal: Stand on my own two feet and make my mark
Day to Day: Workplace that provides new challenges
Extra Curricular: Job that allows me to travel and see new
parts of the world
Financial: Enough incoming money to substantially support
myself and a family
Long Term: Continually grow no matter how successful or
unsuccessful I am in the workplace
Objective #1: Family Pride
-Make my mother and various family members proud of me in a
business sense as well as a personal sense.
-Be able to stand on my own two feet and leave something of
definite value behind.
-Enhance the McDonald family name and reputation with more
-Owe no individual a large amount of money. Never let anyone
else break me financially.
-Committing to something and putting more then just the first
couple of initial non-committal steps towards it.
-Be able to spend more time in Australia with my extended
Objective #1: Family Pride:
-Stand on my own two feet and not be financially dependant on
-Pay back money owed to my mother ($17,000)
-Start being consistent in terms of a career and not being so
-Be able to spend more time in Australia in future.
-Adapt towards paying more and more bills myself.
-Show signs of positive development and chip away at money owed
without any more loans.
-Narrow down choices on careers I enjoy doing.
-Find a career that is easily adaptable internationally.
Objective #3: To be mentally challenged
Look at each assignment as a learning experience and not
Dont get frustrated when I dont get it right away just keep on
doing it till I do
Except as much advise and training as I can get
Keep with it
Objective #3 Wants & Needs
To exceed my expectations in what I can do in the career I
To reach new heights in that career
To work the hardest I can work
To feel a sense of self accomplishment
To do the very best I can and learn the most I can each
Be sure to understand the consequences of your alternatives
before you make a choice
I hope they like my beach day costume Crawford 2008
Career-related stress conditions
Conditions of work: Unpleasant work environment, necessity to
work fast, excessive and inconvenient hours
2. Work itself: Perception of job as uninteresting,
repetitious, overloaded, and
Shift work: Rotating shifts affecting bodily functions and role
Supervision: Unclear job demands, close supervision with no
autonomy, scant feedback from supervisors
Wage and promotion: Inadequate income
Role ambiguity: Lack of clarity about one's job and scope of
7. Career development stressors: Little job security, impending
dissatisfaction over career aspirations and current level of
Group stressors: Insufficient group cohesiveness, poor group
identity in the organization
10. Organizational structure: Too bureaucratic or too
How long is this going to take?
Culture of speed
Maturity issues concerning recognition
What commitment am I willing to make?
Peter Block: The Answer to How is Yes
Career Ladder SVP 5-6
Animal Treatment Investigator
Sales Representative, Veterinarian Supplies
Career Ladder: Veterinary Technician DOT: 079.361-014 SVP: 6
Outlook (Arizona Phoenix-Mesa Area)
Percent Growth (1998-2008): 49%
Base Year Employment (1998): 820
Projected Employment (2008): 990
Arizona Phoenix-Mesa Area Median: $11.91/hr
Employment By Industry
Veterinary Services: 41.5% growth
Education, Public and Private: 13.0% growth
Federal Government: -5.0% growth
Job Requirements -Online Crawford 2008 Animal Kingdom Puppies N
Love Animal Care Tech VCA Animal Hospital Vet Receptionist Arrow
Service Group Hospitals Kennel Attendant Banfield Veterinary
Assistant Tech Previous Experience required? Job experience or
schooling is preferred but not required. Must be self motivated
with the ability to work independently . Position named:
Experienced Vet Receptionist, so some previous experience probably
is required None None Qualifications needed Ability to lift 50
pounds * Bending and squatting MUST be able to work evenings,
weekends and holidays with the longer shifts on Saturday Positive
Attitude * Willingness to learn * Adaptability * Initiative High
school diploma or GED. AD / BA preferred -Vet Tech license
preferred -lift and/or move up to 50 pounds -comfortable around
Pets Job training offered? Probably Possibly Yes Yes Testing on
app? No Maybe Probably not No Work environment? Indoors, sometimes
loud Fast paced, busy, fun Loud, smelly Loud, busy Salary Range
$7.50 to $9.50/hour $8/hr 6.75/hour Unknown Benefits Offer health
insurance and profit sharing 401K Retirement Plan, Health, Vision
and Dental Insurance, Pet Benefits Unknown Discount on pet
services, Health available Dress Code Company Shirt and own pants
scrubs scrubs scrubs Work Shifts Full time, Part Time Full and Part
Time Positions Tue, Thu, every otr Sat 10-3:30pm Third shift
How hard will this be?
In career decision making
What price am I willing to pay?
Peter Block: The Answer to How is Yes
Career Planning and Job Development Guidelines
Essential functions of the job
Assessment of skills, abilities, aptitudes, experience
Assessment of interpersonal, communication skills
Determination of organizational fit
Building a consequence table
Gather hard information (job descriptions)
Use subjective judgments (fun place to work)
Use numbers where appropriate (starting salary $10.00 per
Use graphics, diagrams, photos, symbols for emphasis and
interest (suitcase icon for work travel requirements)
1. The daily work schedule is M-F 7AM-Varies.
2. Everyone Supervises their own duties.
3. The General Manager has priority for requests.
4. The General Manager handles disciplinary issues.
5. Tasks are given verbally everyday from the Producer.
6. Tasks are given in writing to editors in a script form.
7. Creativity, outgoing, and knowledgeable are people skills
needed for this position.
8. The company culture is a team environment.
9. Previous experienced required would be 2-3 years of
experience, knowledge of software, and a reel. College is
10. The salary range is $27-40,000. Freelance work pays
11. They offer health, vision, and dental. They will pay for
training, schooling, and car & gas.
12.Position requirements for performing tasks on your own is to
know how to understand TV scripts.
13. The typical volume of work done daily is 3-4 shoots.
14. The physical demands of this job are moving equipment and
15. This position has a lot of involvement with the care and
maintenance of equipment.
16. Operating procedures are not usually changed but you learn
17. In order to maintain the position you must keep up to date
with technology and software.
18. There is no higher position above this one.
19. There is no training to move up to a higher position
20. It is always appropriate to ask for help. With technical
issues you should ask someone or look online.
21. You can always ask for help.
22. The company measures an employees performance by client
feedback and projects being done in timely manners.
23. Employees are cross-trained by learning everything for
every market in a 2 week period.
24. The best preparation for this occupation is experience
Job Shadow Chart for Career in Sports Production Job Title
Production Assistant NFL Network TV/Film Editor Fox Sports
Storyboard Creator Fox Sports Grip 20 th Century Fox Producer 20 th
Century Fox Salary 15-20hr, $20,000-50,000 50-95hr depending on
experience $30,000-75,000 10-25hr Depending on difficulty of task
$50,000-250,000 Depending on film, tv, music video Benefits Health,
Vision, Dental 401K Health, Vision, Dental 401K Health, Vision,
Dental 401K Health, Vision, Dental Health, Vision, Dental 401K
Education Degree Not Required but Degree preferable Degree not
required. Completion of Film School or Program Preferable Degree
Preferable. Must have Art Portfolio Degree Not Required. Degree not
required. Completion of Film School or Program Preferable Work
Schedule Usually M-F. Filming may be on weekends Usually work a
full day of shooting 10-14 hours 5-7 Days of the week Hours greatly
vary 12,14,18 hour shifts, daytime, evening, graveyard M-F 9-6
Occasion weekends Usually M-F. Filming may be on weekends Usually
work a full day of shooting 10-14 hours Anytime producer is needed
to be on set or in the office Work Environment Lots of running
around. Checking on Actors & Crew Long Hours. Can be strenuous
Will Have to create lots of boards. May take a long time Must have
physical strength. Be able to fix things or make quick solutions
Overseeing crew, writing ideas, managing budget, rentals of
Consequence Chart Crawford 2008 Objectives Jobbing.com Bryman
Media Fox Sports Successful 2 3 1 College 3 2 1 Living 2 3 1
Happiness 2 3 1 Work Enviroment 1 3 2
School Tour of Phoenix College
20 Minutes, not very informative and didnt sell the school at
Offered services for people with disabilities and finding
Different buildings for different subjects
Major of interest offered here (paralegal)
Tuition: cheaper because it is a community college
It seems as though students have to come in knowing what they
want to take or major in
Overall, not a place I would attend
How will I get my coworkers and boss to change for me?
The wish to control
Risks of focusing on others changing
Risks of being too honest
Giving advice where none is asked for
What is my contribution to the problem I am concerned
Peter Block: The Answer to How is Yes
Dealing with the D Word Crawford 2008
Functional Limitation: Self-direction
The capacity to organize, structure and manage activities in a
manner that best serves the objectives of the individual. Such
functions include the abilities to organize, structure and plan
appropriate approaches to achieve necessary tasks and to do problem
solving. These executive functions are frequently seriously limited
by ADHD-related deficits in cognition and reasoning.
Sound like anyone you know? (Self-Direction)
Lack of insight, i.e., inadequate awareness of strengths and
weaknesses, an inability to monitor performance to detect if it is
meeting the demands of the environment, and inability to adjust
behaviors and activities if the current performance is not
Limitations in self-direction are often evident in problems
related to time management, such as underestimating the time (and
energy) needed to complete work assignments, causing other
responsibilities not to be addressed; missing or being late for
appointments and meetings; and making decisions impulsively without
considering previous plans or experiences.
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CIRCULAR
RSA-TAC-05-01 January 10, 2005
Which candidate has AS/NVLD? Crawford 2008
Testing for the job - needed accommodation
At the time of job offer and acceptance
New assigned job tasks
Transfer or relocation to new environment
Individuals must educate the employer
Ask the employer to discuss the duties (essential functions) of
the job and/or to provide a copy of the job description
Look at the essential functions
Look at the job site
Determine if an accommodation is needed and if it is
Disclose only after this has been determined (unless there are
Risk vs. Reward Crawford 2008
Key Uncertainties Chart: Will my job make me happy overall?
Crawford 2008 Outcomes I love my job all of the time I enjoy my job
most or some of the time I do not enjoy my job at all Chances Not
very likely Most likely Not very likely Consequences I dont have
any problems with my employer and I get everything I want (e.g.
benefits, vacation time, good salary, promotions) Some days and
tasks are better than others, but overall I enjoy what I do and get
the things that matter most to me I despise every aspect of what I
am doing, get nothing I want, and dread having to show up every
Achieving successful job placement
(1) work personality and work environment should be
(2) individual needs are most important in determining an
individual's fit into the work environment
(3) individual needs and the reinforcer system that
characterizes the work setting are important aspects of stability
(4) job placement is best accomplished through a match of
worker traits with the requirements of a work environment.
We have to teach individuals to self-advocate in an appropriate
The individual has to know how they learn and what their
functional limitations (disabilities) are
Know how to interview understanding that they may be asked to
discuss their competencies
Know if, when, and how to disclose and what accommodations they
I desire to create a world that will solve for others what I
have struggled so much with myself [email_address] Crawford