Guidance and Career Counselors’ Toolkit: Advising high school students with disabilities on postsecondary options

This toolkit is intended to help guidance and career counselors to better assist high school students with disabilities to transition into postsecondary education and employment. 

HEATH Resource Center
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
The George Washington University
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This toolkit is intended to help guidance and career counselors to better assist high school students with disabilities to transition into postsecondary education and employment. Adults with LD and their supporters will also find the information and resources valuable in planning for entering postsecondary education and for career preparation.

What the experts say

This product is geared towards high school students with disabilities, their counselors, teachers, and parents. However, many ABE students are dealing with learning, physical, or mental health difficulties and possibly disabilities. Therefore, certain chapters are particularly relevant to ABE teachers and students who need to understand disability definitions, disability laws, self-determination, academic accommodations, and psycho-educational assessment and documentation in preparation for transitioning to post-secondary opportunities.

Chapters of special interest might include:

  • Chapter 1 on common disabilities, definitions, and incidence under IDEA
  • Chapter 4 on facilitating self-determination and self-advocacy skills
  • Chapters 12, 13 on academic adjustments or accommodations and the role of Disability Support Services
  • Chapters 14, 15 on the role of Vocational Rehabilitation services and access
  • Chapter 26 on proper and complete documentation of disabilities
  • Chapter 28 on psychological and/or educational diagnostic evaluation
  • Weblinks for further information
  • Additional Tools for transition to post-secondary

Though the toolkit examines all post-secondary options reasonably fairly, there seems to be less emphasis on community colleges as places where a very wide variety of courses and paths of training can be pursued than on four-year colleges, which are characterized as the place to get foundation courses for professional pursuits etc.  (Chapter 11). 

There seems to be a somewhat weak commitment throughout the toolkit to having the student be at the center of and driving the IEP and transitioning process (as opposed to the counselor directing the process).  

The toolkit does not directly cite any research about the effectiveness of accommodations nor about the instructional decisions recommended and it has no information at all about how to counsel linguistically and culturally diverse students with disabilities effectively.

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