The importance of career guidance for all students and particularly for learners with disabilities is undisputed. Effective career guidance will ensure all students are aware of the post-school pathways available to them. Career guidance is a complex issue as the quality of career guidance provided depends on a range of factors including the type and social mix of a school; a pupil’s gender; type of disability and the vast range of tools and approaches available for use by career guidance professionals. From an international perspective, the language and terminology around career guidance can be unclear and similar terms appear interchangeably, for example, in the USA the term Counsellor refers to what is termed in Ireland a Guidance Counsellor.
Young people are a heterogeneous group and this is no different for young disabled learners, therefore, person-centred approaches that positively focus on individual strengths are key to effective career guidance.
This is not an exhaustive review; rather it provides an insight into the many interrelated factors that influence career guidance provision for disabled learners in second level education. It includes literature examining specific disabilities such as young people with intellectual disabilities, autistic young people, those who are d/Deaf as well as literature focusing on disability in general.
The National Disability Authority is conducting this literature review to inform a policy advice paper on career guidance for learners with disabilities. One action stemming from the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities (CES) is for the Department of Education to ‘Implement recommendations arising out of the review of Career Guidance provision as they relate to SEN learners, progression and participation in Further Education and Training and Higher Education’. However, the 2020 Indecon Review of Career Guidance report had a very limited focus on learners with disabilities
Literature Review of Career Guidance for Learners with Disabilities in Second Level Education