By helping to support youth in making important informed decisions about their future, parents and other caring adults can contribute a great deal to their children’s post-high school success. For youth with disabilities in particular, families often play the very important roles of setting high expectations for youth’s future employment, and of advocating for opportunities for them to identify their strengths and interests and to explore career options. Families who learn about and begin the career development process with their youth early will be better prepared to support them in choosing and building a bright future.
Based on the belief that it is important that families begin the discussion with a young person about choosing a career long before high school graduation, this brief provides information for families about the three phases of career development: self-exploration, career exploration, and career planning and management to help facilitate conversation. In addition, the brief considers the individualized learning plan a helpful tool to help students direct and track their career development.