Research Handbook of Diversity and Careers
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Research Handbook of Diversity and Careers

Edited by Adelina M. Broadbridge and Sandra L. Fielden

This unique Research Handbook covers a wide range of issues that affect the careers of those in diverse groups: age, disability, gender, race, religion, sexuality and transgender, as well as appearance. International experts from a variety of backgrounds contribute chapters in their given fields, reviewing current thinking, practices, initiatives and developments within the field, as well as presenting a wide-ranging and holistic coverage of the topic.
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Chapter 10: Career development for individuals with disabilities: examining issues of equity, access and opportunity

Lauren Lindstrom, Kara Hirano and Richie Thomas

Abstract

Career development for individuals with disabilities is a complex process, influenced by multiple interrelated systems. Numerous studies document that across low-, middle- and high-income countries, individuals with disabilities are more likely to be unemployed, work in lower-wage occupations, have restricted access to education and face individual and systemic barriers to career advancement. This chapter utilizes a systems theory framework (Patton and McMahon, 2014) to describe current status and offer recommendations for improving employment options for individuals with disabilities worldwide. Information and strategies are included that address individual systems such as values, beliefs, self-concept, interests, ability, disability and gender; social systems including peers, families, community groups, workplace and educational institutions; and environmental-societal systems including policies, economic structures, physical environments and geographic locations. To facilitate career development and increase access and equity for individuals with disabilities, the authors advocate for a holistic capacity building approach, integrating individual, social and environmental influences.

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