Career Development Programs: Preparation for Lifelong Career by Wendy Patton;Mary McMahon

By Wendy Patton;Mary McMahon

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36). Knowledge is created through the interaction of subjective and objective experiences in the process called learning. Thus knowledge is a continuous process of creation and recreation. Evaluation of career programs Stevens (1995) suggests that a career development program cannot be a static item. Ongoing work environment changes mean a program needs to be constantly monitored to ascertain whether or not it continues to meet employee and employer needs. Similar arguments can be applied to all programs, no matter who the target group.

This has meant that examples of system-wide approaches to career development for people with disabilities are scarce. The supported employment movement, which has gained impetus since the mid-1980s, has focused on long-term job support to enable consumers to learn and retain employment. However, many participants in these services have been placed in entry-level positions with little opportunity for career advancement (Hagner & Dileo, 1993). There have been calls for the United States state/federal vocational rehabilitation system to adopt a career development approach to service delivery (Rumrill & Koch, 1999; Rumrill & Roessler, 1999).

G. Super, 1990) assume that developmental experiences over the life span are similar across different populations. As a consequence, these theories have largely ignored the ‘lived’ experiences of people with disabilities, in particular, children with disabilities (Conte, 1983). Limitations imposed on people with disabilities in areas such as education, development of self-efficacy, vocationally related decision making and access to developmental experiences can severely impact their career maturity, career decision making and career choice.

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