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Work and Disability: Issues and Strategies in Career Development and Job Placement.

Edna M. Szymanski and Randall M. Parker Editor Austin, TX. Pro-ed, Inc. 1996, 458 pp.

This book provides an overview of the context, theories, resources, and strategies necessary to promote the employment of people with disabilities. It is geared to professionals from a variety of fields who assist people with disabilities in finding and maintaining employment.

The book is divided into twelve chapters. Chapter one provides an introduction to work and disability, and discusses conceptual models for career development and job placement. Chapter two addresses the psychosocial and economic aspects of work and the implications for people with disabilities. Chapter three reviews legislation concerning career counseling and job placement for people with disabilities; it reviews educational legislation, rehabilitation legislation, Workers Compensation, Social Security Work Incentives, The Job Training and Partnership Act, veterans rehabilitation and education, and the implications of legislation for career counseling and job placement.

Chapter four provides an overview of historical and current theories in career development, and addresses theory convergence and constructs; it discusses considerations for racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and women, and concludes with a review of research on career development of people with disabilities. Chapter five addresses issues in vocational assessment and disability, including theoretical and conceptual issues, technical limitations, appropriate usage of vocational instruments, and alternatives to traditional assessment. Chapter six deals with disability and accommodation, and discusses conceptions of disability, prevalence of disabilities, categories of limitations, and accommodations in the workplace.

Chapter seven discusses the role of occupational information in career counseling and job development, types of occupational and labor market information, and evaluating labor market information through job analysis. Chapter eight addresses career development interventions for people with disabilities, including considerations for choice of intervention, general interventions, and disability based interventions. Chapter nine, Employers and Job Development: The Business Perspective, discusses the marketplace, the organizational context, and the business of placement.

Chapter ten deals with job search and employer negotiation strategies in securing employment for individuals with disabilities. It addresses disability issues in securing employment, job placement in the vocational rehabilitation service system, models and practices in securing employment, major trends in practices to secure employment, and future directions. Chapter eleven reviews work adjustment counseling, supported employment, employer provided skill training and performance maintenance, physical and mental health maintenance, and management of disability. And finally, Chapter twelve provides an overview of career counseling and job placement in rehabilitation settings, including strategies for assisting the client in understanding the self, understanding the environment, understanding decision making, implementing decisions, adjustment, adaptation, and advancement. The book concludes with a review of job placement philosophies and methods.

This book contains an enormous amount of information which is presented in a clear and comprehensive format. The sections which review legislation that relates to vocational rehabilitation are an excellent resource. The authors have broken down the Americans with Disabilities Act into its chief elements, which is very helpful when dealing with issues related to this legislation. Additionally, the text addresses Workers' Compensation, Social Security, The Job Training Partnership Act, and Veterans Rehabilitation and Education in a fashion which makes utilization of these systems in the everyday world much easier for the rehabilitation professional.

The book reviews, in detail, the theories of career development, as well as vocational instruments. Assets and shortcomings of the theories are discussed; detailed statistical findings regarding reliability and validity of the vocational instruments are provided. A section of the book, "Considerations for Future Research" would be an excellent starting point for any researcher interested in initiating studies which can build upon past efforts and avoid prior pitfalls.

This book provides an excellent overview of approaches to job development and job placement for individuals with disabilities. It discusses various issues to be considered when attempting to find employment for this population, such as psycho-social issues, types of job accommodations, and methods of obtaining labor market information. Of interest is an entire chapter of the text devoted to job development in relation to the employers themselves. Often, in the study of vocational rehabilitation, we focus primarily on the work force as it relates to the individual with a disability. This chapter addresses "The Business Perspective" and how employers view vocational rehabilitation. Most employers are willing to hire individuals with disabilities, as long as it does not compromise their "bottom line", i.e., profit. This chapter challenges the rehabilitation professional to approach job development with the employer's needs in mind, as well as the individual with a disability, by conveying to the employer the assets of the individual, and how these assets can be used to enhance productivity and profit in their business.

This book comprehensively addresses issues pertaining to the employment of persons with disabilities and would serve as an excellent resource on vocational rehabilitation for any professional working with this population.

Lee Woodward, M.Ed., CRC, ABDA Woodward Consultation and Rehabilitation Services, Inc. Charleston, South Carolina
COPYRIGHT 1998 National Rehabilitation Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Woodward, Lee
Publication:The Journal of Rehabilitation
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 1998
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