My mission is to help you, as parents, "see real hope" as your son or daughter who has a disability explores options for a school-to-work transition.
There are now an increasing number of paths toward a meaningful vocation and an independent life that are open for your youngster. I'm here to show you what is not only practical but possible.
Mainstream employers often admit that, despite much effort in recruiting, it’s difficult for them to find “qualified” candidates with a disability who are ready to work for open jobs.
There may be two reasons for this situation.
First, attachment theory, the study of the importance of early childhood emotional bonds, suggests that youngsters who have stronger relationships with their parents develop stronger self-esteem and better self-reliance as they grow older and explore the world – even though disability is involved.
Children with a stronger self-esteem tend to be more independent, perform better in school, have successful social relationships, experience less depression and do well in the work world.
Individuals with a disability may have difficulty with the psychological ramifications of living with a vulnerability in a society which often presents a distorted picture of disability.
This may be particularly true when unexplored misconceptions within the family unit about disability impede a healthy connectedness between them and their parents.
The result could be an “encumbered” job candidate who does not have the self-esteem, emotional intelligence or interpersonal communication skills to perform well on a job.
Second, in today’s highly competitive job market, getting hired and building a career require career management skills that are increasingly becoming more sophisticated.
Acquiring and continually updating these career management skills are crucial to on-the-job success because “no one else is going to do it for you” in a temporary-work world where job holders are “free agents” and employee turnover is high.
Individuals with a disability often encounter barriers in getting hired because they are using outdated employment models and job marketing methods.
They cannot expect to do well in today’s work climate without access to contemporary career management tools, knowledge about how to use them effectively and insight about how to modify them so disability is a competitive edge instead of a disadvantage in the minds of hiring managers.
My website, cerebral-palsy-career-builders.com, is a parent-driven platform for addressing the second one of those two issues: acquiring and updating career management skills from a disability perspective.
Addressing the psychological implications of disability within individuals and within the family unit which may affect career-readiness is outside of my expertise.
This site’s information is geared toward those youngsters with various forms of cerebral palsy (CP) and other developmental and physical disabilities who have at least an average intelligence.
I do not pretend to be a parent coach or an expert about how to manage a disability. My only expertise is this: knowing how to address employment issues from a disability perspective.
So, managing CP or any other type of disability outside the world of career development is not a topic for discussion on this site.
The content of cerebral-palsy-career-builders.com only addresses career development issues from the perspective of the current U.S. National Career Development Guidelines through my experience as a Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) certified by the Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE) and as an individual with CP who has wide experience in competitive employment.
As a GCDF, I am not qualified to provide psychotherapy and other professional counseling services that are normally provided by those who have obtained a master's degree in counseling (see GCDF code of ethics). The content of cerebral-palsy-career-builders.com needs to be viewed with that limitation in mind.
CP and other developmental and physical disabilities vary widely among individuals in terms of severity and limitations, which can affect individual potential in terms of career development. That means what worked for me may not be applicable to situations others, who are living under very different circumstances, face.
My site, cerebral-palsy-career-builders.com, needs to be viewed only as a parent-driven approach to competitive employment for youngsters with a disability based on personal stories of successful careers which give the U.S. National Career Development Guides a disability perspective.
My site, cerebral-palsy-career-builders.com, also assumes you, as a parent, grandparent or other mentor (and, most importantly, your mentee) are both motivated to take responsibility for reaching one's potential from an occupational point of view.
Visitors to cerebral-palsy-career-builders.com have indicated that these issues concern you the most about preparing your youngster with CP for meaningful work and an independent life as an adult:
For each age group, cerebral-palsy-career-builders.com addresses the current U.S. National Career Development Guidelines from the vantage point of how to set the stage for building self-confidence and how to frame disability's competitive advantages for a future job seeker.
My drive (my need to prove myself by sacrificing present gratification in pursuit of future attainment) is based on these three sources of my personal motivation:
My recognition that, at birth, my unique mix capabilities and disabilities perhaps gave me a 15 to 20- percent chance to gain personal independence and self-determination through competitive employment -- if I devoted extraordinary effort throughout my lifetime, sought help from others and tapped my creativity toward that end.
My belief that being in the spotlight because I'm "different" due to my disabilities gives me a unique opportunity to reflect God's forgiveness, acceptance, love and hope to those around me – and that is empowering for me.
My personal need to prove to others that I'm in some ways "superior" to others with similar disabilities and the “exception” to the commonly held perceptions within our society about people with disabilities in general -- while, at the same time, personally feeling inadequate in the eyes of many.
I believe my craving to beat the odds, to serve a higher purpose and to reconcile my feelings of both inadequacy and superiority generated a personal drive that resulted in a rewarding and interesting life that some may still regard as another example of an “overachieving” individual with a disability -- instead of a much broader snapshot of the resiliency of humankind.
Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF)
Code of Ethics
The Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) is a certification created by the Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE), in consultation with the National Career Development Association (NCDA) and the National Occupational Information Coordinating Committee (NOICC). The GCDF certification program, administered by CCE, certifies qualified individuals who have satisfied the extensive knowledge and skills standards established by CCE. GCDF certificants provide quality career assistance, not career counseling or psychotherapy.
Regardless of any other affiliation, this GCDF Code of Ethics (Code) applies to each individual certified by CCE as a GCDF (certificant), and each individual seeking the GCDF certification (applicant). The Code is designed to provide appropriate ethical practice guidelines and enforceable standards of conduct for all certificants and applicants. The Code also serves as a resource for those served by GCDF certificants and applicants with respect to such standards and requirements.
COMPLIANCE WITH LEGAL REQUIREMENTS AND CONDUCT STANDARDS
GCDF certificants and applicants shall:
COMPLIANCE WITH CCE ORGANIZATIONAL POLICIES AND RULES
GCDF certificants and applicants shall:
PERFORMANCE OF SERVICES AND OTHER OCCUPATIONAL ACTIVITIES
GCDF certificants and applicants shall:
AVOIDANCE OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST AND THE APPEARANCE OF IMPROPRIETY
GCDF certificants and applicants shall:
Approved by the CCE Board of Directors: July 19, 1997.
Amended: October 14, 1998.
Amended: October 9, 2010.
© 2010 Center for Certification & Education (CCE)
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Children's Online Privacy Protection Act
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In some cases, I may collect information about you that is not personally identifiable. I use this information, which does not identify individual users, to analyze trends, to administer the site, to track users' movements around the site and to gather demographic information about my user base as a whole. The information collected is used solely for internal review and is not shared with other organizations for commercial purposes.
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