The career decision making of individuals with mild developmental disabilities Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/tt44pq64s

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  • Individuals with mild developmental disabilities have traditionally been excluded from full participation in their career decision making due to the stereotyping of their perceived incompetence. This view forms a mind-set or stigma that is recognized as the disability myth. This study initially addressed the vocational development of individuals with mild developmental disabilities. A selected group of seven were identified from a population of 70. These seven had participated in a high school intervention program that was vocationally based and were deemed as most likely to demonstrate vocational maturity. They provided information regarding their vocational development through unstructured interviews. Donald Super speculated that individuals with disabilities could benefit from the existing theories of vocational development; his theory of vocational development described the seven participants. All seven were vocationally mature. All had independent adult status. All were employed and had continuous employment histories. None of the seven were receiving income replacement or benefits from dependency programs, such as, Medicaid, Food Stamps, or Supplemental Security Income. All seven participants had well defined vocational self-concepts and well developed self-concept systems. Super further speculated that persons with disabilities may need a special application of a vocational development theory although not a different one; this conjecture was not applicable to the seven participants. Further research on the applicability of Super's theory should focus on other individuals with mild developmental disabilities who are not employed; those receiving assistance from income replacement or dependency programs should also be studied. Qualitative methods will be essential to conducting these studies. The applicability of his theory to those with other types of disabilities should also be tested. The seven participants seemed to have benefited from the vocationally-based intervention program. The relative benefit of each component of the intervention should be studied.
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