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Recognizing Skills over Disabilities

The LINCS course "Definitions of Learning Disabilities," provides excellent information to help us understand learning disabilities. Some time ago, I observed one of the most innovative approaches to matching the individual strengths of LD adults to work environments. A teacher in an AE program had her LD students create pamphlets to advocate for themselves in job interviews. In the pamphlet, students introduced readers to some basic biographical information, sometimes with photos. Each section of the pamphlet covered one aspect of their lives, to include strengths and limitations. In their interviews, prospects discussed both of those with potential employers. Employers and students consistently reported appreciation for the process. That way, employers could place new employees in areas that did not challenge their  disability but encouraged them to be productive where they best fit needs. 
 
What other innovative practices do you recommend for helping disabled adults become gainfully employed in careers that interest them? Leecy
 
 

Comments

Michael Cruse's picture

Thanks, Leecy, for sharing this example, and encouraging others to share innovative practices for helping adults with disabilities to become employed in preferred employment settings.  One strategy that I've posted about on LINCS is called Motivational Interviewing (MI).  While MI isn't specific to persons with disabilities, it can be a significant asset when working with these learners to prepare them for talking with employers.  

I'd be curious to hear from others what has worked well in their programs, or for learners that are also accessing state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services to support their employment goals.

Best,

Mike Cruse

Disabilities and Equitable Outcomes Moderator

michaelcruse74@gmail.com

Michael Cruse's picture

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Carmen Shelton's picture

Looking at our LD students, I see areas in which we can work to help them find the strengths they have to direct them into the workplace.  Many have skills of work ethic and dependability, but intellectual limitations.  We must help them emphasize their strengths to their full benefit.

Michael Cruse's picture

Hi, Carmen -

Thanks for your post; I couldn't agree with you more.  I wonder how you work with learners to find their unique strengths?  It would be great to hear some of your successes, and what helped make them possible for your learners.  One tool that I have been learning more about myself is called Motivational Interviewing (MI).  I shared about MI several weeks ago, and am hoping others are as curious to hear more about its implementation.  If you've worked with Vocational Rehabilitation in your state, you may have heard something about it.  Its is more commonly practiced there than in adult education circles; however, I think it's something that many adult education programs would benefit from learning more about in general.

What are your other strategies?  I'm curious to know more about them.

Best,

Mike Cruse

Disabilities and Equitable Outcomes Moderator

michaelcruse74@gmail.com