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How can you work with groups with special needs?

Practitioners should be aware of a broad variety of ability patterns among clients, influenced by the educational profile, language ability, social situation, migration background, cognitive ability leading to different requirements for presenting and working with labour market information in guidance activities.

When working with groups with special needs, it is important to define the needs and ability of the client group you are working with. Design your guidance activities from the start to be as accessible as required for the context and client groups you are working with. Sometimes practical interventions can improve the accessibility of the information provided (eg pictures instead of text, pictograms instead of text). Look out for specific support tools. Special tools and techniques have been developed in order to provide information for special needs groups. Some tools apply the principles of design for all where the design corresponds to needs of as many special needs as possible.

 
PRINCIPLE OF DESIGN FOR ALL

http://designforall.org/

Investing in an interface that presents labour market information according to the needs and the ability of the client is important. Some tools are designed in such a way that they can reach a broad group of clients including clients with special needs (e.g. low language level or low cognitive skills) such as the tool Berufe Entdecker based on pictures. Especially when the target group is pupils or young potential professionals, online tools that invest in an attractive design both visually and textually, increase their potential reach among the pupil/ student community (as for example the website BeroepeninBeeld.nl (Professions in the Picture) that seems to attract pupils, students but also teachers).

Special approaches and programmes have been developed for groups with special needs. This information is often used by the career practitioners or counsellors working with special needs groups and not always by individual users themselves.

 
LMI TOOLS TAILORED TO CLIENT GROUPS
  • Visual tool for school pupils Berufe Entdecker (Germany): http://entdecker.biz-medien.de/
  • Career information in easy language developed by the Latvian State Employment among others the jobseeker handbook Agency: http://www.nva.gov.lv/karjera/
  • Initiative addressing the need for targeted interventions tailored towards children with special educational needs KomposyT (Slovakia) www.komposyt.sk
 
INTEGRATED APPROACH TO ADDRESS CLIENT GROUPS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

Het Beroepenhuis has a differentiated approach for groups with different needs (students with special needs and OKAN students that do not have the native language as mother tongue). Over the years a guidance methodology has been developed that can easily be adapted in function of the ability and needs of visiting groups. The materials supporting the visit have been developed in different formats (including pictograms and easy language). The exhibition contains exploration corners with a different level of difficulty (e.g. the restaurant corner is easier than the presentation of the chemical sector also because restaurant jobs are more familiar to students compared to process lines in the chemical industry). The assignments are designed in different levels of difficulty. The person guiding the group can adapt the instructions even during the visit, not only at group level but also at the level of individual students. In this way, the same information is made accessible for everyone. www.beroepenhuis.be

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